The Internal Revenue Service has reduced the amount of time it is estimating it will take to process hundreds of thousands of delayed tax returns claiming refunds from education tax credits.

The IRS is estimating that the delays will now take about two to four weeks instead of up to six weeks, and most affected taxpayers should receive their refunds by mid-April.

Earlier this month the IRS estimated that it would take about four to six weeks to issue refunds to affected taxpayers who had filed tax returns with Form 8863, Education Credits. New questions on the form for taxpayers claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the way the questions had to be answered, along with changes in the programming, had tripped up the programmers of several tax preparation products, including the software used at H&R Block. That led to an estimated 600,000 or more taxpayers whose refunds were delayed (see 600,000+ Tax Refunds Delayed by Education Credit Glitch).

The IRS has now reduced the estimated amount of time for processing the delayed returns by about two weeks. Thanks to “special steps” it has taken to help the affected taxpayers, the delays should only be about two to four weeks and nearly all the taxpayers should receive their refunds by early to mid-April.

“Over the last two weeks the IRS has worked diligently to process tax returns affected by a problem with a limited number of software company products involving some taxpayers filing Form 8863, Education Credits,” the IRS said in a statement Tuesday. “The IRS previously estimated that it could take 4-6 weeks from March 12 to issue refunds to the impacted taxpayers. Due to the special steps the IRS took to help these taxpayers, the work is being completed more quickly than anticipated—in two to four weeks.  Many affected taxpayers have already received their refunds and more are on their way. The IRS expects to issue nearly all of these refunds in early to mid-April. Taxpayers affected by this issue can check ‘Where’s My Refund?’ on to determine the status of their refund. The IRS reminds taxpayers that ‘Where's My Refund?’ is usually updated overnight, so taxpayers only need to check the tool once a day.”

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access