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H&R Block error reportedly holding up 600,000 refunds

Updated: 2013-03-12T18:11:19Z

An error on returns prepared by H&R Block is delaying an estimated 600,000 tax refunds, according to a report by MarketWatch.

Block improperly filed a form used to claim educational credits, the report said, leaving a mandatory field blank. MarketWatch, an online service of The Wall Street Journal, quotes a spokeswoman of the Internal Revenue Service saying about 10 percent of 6.6 million tax returns using Form 8863 were affected. The IRS is trying to clear up the error quickly, she said, but the taxpayers still might have to wait six more weeks to get their refunds.

MarketWatch said Block confirmed the error for returns filed before Feb. 22. The IRS had accepted a blank field as a “no” answer on some questions on the form but now requires preparers to enter an “N.” Apparently some of those fields were left blank before the error was discovered, however, delaying the refunds. The IRS told MarketWatch it still was able to process the returns now that it knew about the error, but extra steps to fix the problem still would cause delays.

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