More than 600,000 taxpayers using H&R Block could see lengthy delays in the procession of their tax returns, due to a filing error. Most of those affected are college students. The delay could affect the applications for federal financial aid for many.
H&R Block blunder involves education credits
The delay has to do with those using Form 8863, used to claim education credits, filed before February 22, because of new methods the IRS is using to process the forms. Students wishing to claim the credit encountered earlier delays because of the changes, with the IRS not accepting filings using the form before February 14. Now, some using H&R Block are being told the delay could be another six to eight weeks.
The delay affects 10 percent of the 6.6 million federal tax returns filed claiming education credits, or about 600,000, according to the IRS.
Error fixed, H&R Block working with IRS
H&R Block, The nation’s leading tax preparation, company says it has fixed the error and that it is working with the IRS to expedite the processing of the affected returns. The company posted an apology on its Facebook page on March 12. “We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and we’re glad to hear some clients are already seeing their refund status change due to work with the IRS,” H&R Block said.
The IRS issued a statement of its own, addressing the delay and its efforts to speed the processing time. IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge said, “The IRS is continuing to review the situation and working with affected software companies to assist in the processing of these tax returns.”
Irate customers react
Disgruntled H&R Block customers posted remarks on the company’s Facebook page, some demanding refunds of filing fees. Other vowed to take their business elsewhere in the future. “Thank you for over 18 years of service, but this will be our last tax year together,” posted one woman.
To check on the status of your tax return, go to the IRS website and and employ the “Where’s My Refund” tool.
Minnesota TurboTax glitch
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Revenue has warned the state’s taxpayers to not use TurboTax or other Intuit products to prepare and file their state tax returns. It said that glitches in the software affected about 10,000 state tax returns. The software issues have been cleared up, the MDOR said. However, there will be a delay in processing those returns as well. Intuit has promised to refund the cost of the software for those whose returns were affected by the glitches.