A mistake by tax service provider H&R Block is delaying the processing of 660,000 tax forms for educational tax credits (8863). An IRS spokeswoman told Marketwatch that people affected might have to wait another six weeks before they get their refund on March 12.
H&R Block, which prepares one in seven U.S. tax returns, confirmed that there was an issue with form 8863, which enables students to reclaim a maximum of $2500 spent on post-secondary education.
“Some taxpayers are receiving letters from the IRS informing them their returns are now under further review,” a company blog said on March 4. The blog further indicates that the company missed a change in IRS procedures on how to fill in the form, which is the cause for the delay.
In previous years, leaving a box on the form blank meant that the answer to the question was “NO.” This year an “N” has to be filled in in order to indicate “NO” as an answer. H&R Block left the boxes blank as in previous years, complicating the processing of forms for the IRS.
The IRS sent out letters to inform tax-payers of the delays and asked for further information in some cases. It also confirmed that it will process the forms as soon as possible.
IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge told Marketwatch that the IRS is working to reduce the wait-time.
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