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Categorized | Paying For College

Education Tax Credits Delay IRS Refund Processing

Every year millions of families and students across the nation gather their 1098-T’s (issued by colleges and universities), and utilize them, along with Forms 8863 and 1040, to claim available education tax credits (highlighted in Publication Release 970). These tax credits go a long way in helping families/students to make college affordable.

Unfortunately, the IRS recently discovered that their system is not adequately prepared to start receiving tax returns that include Form 8863. The Internal Revenue Service released the following statement:

“As it does every year, the IRS reviews and tests its systems in advance of the opening of the tax season to protect taxpayers from processing errors and refund delays. The IRS 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. 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.”

Part of the delay may be caused by the recent overhaul of Form 8863 that is rumored to be an initiative brought on by criticism that many taxpayers were claiming the education tax credits incorrectly.

The good news is that the IRS has now released an update stating that they should have their system ready to begin processing tax returns with Education Tax Credit Form 8863 by February 14th. The bad news is that the following list of tax forms can not be processed by the IRS until late February or middle of March:

  • Form 3800 General Business Credit
  • Form 4136 Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels
  • Form 5074 Allocation of Individual Income Tax to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Form 5471 Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations
  • Form 5695 Residential Energy Credits
  • Form 5735 American Samoa Economic Development Credit
  • Form 5884 Work Opportunity Credit
  • Form 6478 Credit for Alcohol Used as Fuel
  • Form 6765 Credit for Increasing Research Activities
  • Form 8396 Mortgage Interest Credit
  • Form 8582 Passive Activity Loss Limitations
  • Form 8820 Orphan Drug Credit
  • Form 8834 Qualified Plug-in Electric and Electric Vehicle Credit
  • Form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses
  • Form 8844 Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community Employment Credit
  • Form 8845 Indian Employment Credit
  • Form 8859 District of Columbia First-Time Homebuyer Credit
  • Form 8864 Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit
  • Form 8874 New Markets Credits
  • Form 8900 Qualified Railroad Track Maintenance Credit
  • Form 8903 Domestic Production Activities Deduction
  • Form 8908 Energy Efficient Home Credit
  • Form 8909 Energy Efficient Appliance Credit
  • Form 8910 Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit
  • Form 8911 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit
  • Form 8912 Credit to Holders of Tax Credit Bonds
  • Form 8923 Mine Rescue Team Training Credit
  • Form 8932 Credit for Employer Differential Wage Payments
  • Form 8936 Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit
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