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March 27, 2013

IRS shortens estimate of refund delay tied to education tax credit

H&R Block said more than half of its customers hit by delays either have their refunds or know the date the refunds will be issued.

Uncle Sam says he is working through the pile of 660,000 delayed tax refunds — many involving H Block customers — faster than expected.

You could get yours soon.

The Internal Revenue Service now estimates that delays originally expected to last four to six weeks will be more like two to four weeks.

An IRS statement Wednesday said the service expects to issue all the refunds caught up in this problem in early to mid April.

The new forecast comes two weeks after the education tax credit problem surfaced.

Separately, Kansas City-based Block, whose electronic filing system mishandled the credit and delayed IRS processing of tax returns, has said more than half of its affected customers should have their refunds by now or know the date their refunds will arrive.

Taxpayers can track their refunds’ status with

the IRS online

. The IRS said it updates the status once a day, usually overnight, so taxpayers aren’t likely to see their status change during the day.

H Block discovered the problem Feb. 22 and quickly fixed its electronic filing error. It said claiming the tax credit for education expenses caused no delays beyond that date.

However, the company waited until March 7 to alert customers publicly by posting a message on the company’s Facebook page.

Block customers continue to pelt the company’s Facebook updates with complaints. Many have said they asked for a return of their tax preparation fees.

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