The IRS said on Monday that processing of tax returns claiming education credits will begin by the middle of February.
Taxpayers using Form 8863, Education Credits, can begin filing their tax returns after the IRS updates its processing systems. Form 8863 is used to claim two higher education credits: the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.
The delayed start will have no impact on taxpayers claiming other education-related tax benefits such as the tuition and fees deduction and the student loan interest deduction, the service added. People otherwise able to file and claiming these benefits can start filing January 30.
The IRS added that it discovered during testing that programming modifications are needed to accurately process Form 8863. Filers who are otherwise able to file but use the Form 8863 will be able to file by mid-February, and no action needs to be taken by the taxpayer or their tax professional.
Typically through the mid-February period, about 3 million tax returns include Form 8863, less than a quarter of those filed during the year.
The IRS said it “remains on track” to open the tax season on January 30 for most taxpayers, including those claiming the student loan interest deduction on the Form 1040 series or the higher education tuition or fees on Form 8917, Tuition and Fees Deduction.