A 1040 tax form
A 1040 tax form - 
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The tax season is almost here. Sorry. But if you've begun rifling through your 1040 forms you might want to know that something is missing. There are a couple of lines for some key deductions that won't be on that form. You can blame Congress and a printer's deadline. Brian Bull fills in those blanks for you.

BRIAN BULL: The missing lines are for deductions related to state and local sales taxes and higher education costs.

The deductions were set to expire last year unless Congress acted. By the time Congress did act, the IRS had already published millions of 1040s — without the lines.

The omission means billions of dollars worth of tax benefits may slip by filers this year.

Sara Turner of the National Association of Tax Professionals says you can visit the IRS's website to learn how to file for them. And this goes for people using tax software as well.

SARA TURNER: Unless you've been diligent about doing all the updates, not only these items but other updates could be lost and you could be doing your return incorrectly.

Taxpayers who are particularly vulnerable here are first-time filers who aren't used to listing the deductions on their 1040.

In Madison, Wisconsin, I'm Brian Bull for Marketplace.