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Software glitch delays 660,000 tax refunds

By Stephen Olemacher

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:22 p.m. HST, Mar 14, 2013


WASHINGTON » The Internal Revenue Service says 660,000 taxpayers will have their refunds delayed by up to six weeks because of a problem with the software they used to file their tax returns.

The delay affects people claiming education tax credits who filed returns between Feb. 14 and Feb. 22.

H&R Block, the tax preparing giant, says that some of its customers were affected but the company has resolved the problem. A limited number of other software companies have also had problems, but IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge declined to name them.

Turbo Tax customers were not affected, spokeswoman Julie Miller said.

The IRS expects to process about 150 million tax returns from individuals, so less than 1 percent will be affected. About 6.6 million taxpayers are expected to claim the education tax credits.

The software problem was on Form 8863, which is used to claim the American Opportunity credit, which provides up to $2,500 to help pay for college expenses, and the Lifetime Learning credit, which provides up to $2,000.

The form includes a series of questions. On some of the questions, if the taxpayer answered "no," the answer was left blank when the form was electronically transmitted to the IRS.

H&R Block said the forms were filled out correctly but the answers were dropped when the forms were transmitted to the IRS.

"It's important to note that the tax returns were prepared accurately. The error occurred in e-file processing," H&R Block said in a statement. "We are communicating directly with our impacted clients to assure them that we are doing everything we can to expedite their returns."

The IRS has long had a goal of increasing the number of people who file their tax returns electronically. The agency promises faster refunds for people who file electronically and have their refunds deposited directly into bank accounts. Most taxpayers who file this way can get refunds within 21 days, the agency says.

In 2012, nearly 120 million taxpayers electronically filed their federal tax returns with the IRS. That's about 81 percent of all individual returns.

Taxpayers can check the status of their refund on the agency's "Where's my refund?" website. The IRS says the status of a refund is only updated once a day, usually at night. Last month, the agency asked taxpayers not to check the website more than once a day because it was being overwhelmed by eager taxpayers.







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loquaciousone wrote:
The Hawaii State Tax Department doesn't need software glitches to delay tax returns. Their normal waiting period is 8 weeks and that's for those that filed early. If you try to call them, all you get is that the system is too busy to take your call.
on March 14,2013 | 12:36PM
TLehel wrote:
8 weeks? How much more inept could they be? If that is the case I should be getting mine very soon, but I doubt it since the state obviously has chimps at their keyboards.
on March 14,2013 | 12:46PM
loquaciousone wrote:
You have something against chimps?
on March 14,2013 | 12:56PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Let's be nice now. Comparing chimps to state workers is an insult.............to chimps.
on March 14,2013 | 01:03PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
This BS. There is no monies for refund. The Government gave it to the non tax paying and non producing voters who voted Obama.
on March 14,2013 | 01:01PM
Hanalei13 wrote:
Your grammar is impeccable, your thought process flawless, and your opinion pristine. Too bad I couldn't vote for you to be our President!
on March 14,2013 | 01:22PM
iwanaknow wrote:
I bet thepartyfirst is a High School junior?
on March 14,2013 | 03:44PM
cojef wrote:
or an Allie wannabe.
on March 14,2013 | 04:06PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
Exactly who is Allie?
on March 14,2013 | 08:28PM
IAmSane wrote:
YEAH THE 47% AMIRITE?
on March 14,2013 | 04:44PM
64hoo wrote:
got my state and federal tax return already only took 4 weeks.
on March 14,2013 | 04:07PM
cojef wrote:
Been using Turbo-Tax for many years now, but always file my tax return manually by certified mail/return receipt requested. Since I pay quarterly estimated taxes beside my withholding, except my State, only the former only, I get a refund. However this year had to pay the State $4. Yep $4. That's pretty good guesstimate.
on March 14,2013 | 04:13PM
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