The IRS announced on Monday that taxpayers filing Form 8863, to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit can begin filing by the middle of February after the IRS updates its processing systems. 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.

Filers who need to attach Form 8863 used to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit to their tax return can prepare their return now but must wait to submit it in mid-February. This applies to paper and electronically filed Forms 8863.

Taxpayers filing an amended return to claim an additional refund must wait until they’ve received their original refunds. Also, keep in mind that an amended tax return cannot be filed electronically and normal processing time for Form 1040X is eight to 12 weeks from the IRS receipt date.

February 2, 2013 12:00 am