Taxpayers claiming education credits must wait to file

  @blakeellis3 January 28, 2013: 1:48 PM ET
Obama's 2nd term: What to expect on taxes

If you plan on claiming certain education credits this tax season, you'll need to wait until mid-February to file your return.

The IRS announced the delay Monday, saying it needs to update its processing systems before it can accept Form 8863 -- which is used to claim both the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit provides up to $2,500 per student each year for up to four years of college, while the Lifetime Learning Credit gives a maximum of $2,000 annually for education expenses without a limit on the number of years it can be claimed. Taxpayers can only receive one of these credits per year.

About three million tax returns claiming these credits are typically filed by mid-February, which the IRS said is about a quarter of the total returns using Form 8863 that it receives during the entire year.

Related: Estimating your new taxes -- It's worse than you think

For the majority of filers, however, tax season will still start this Wednesday. The agency had planned to open the tax season on Jan. 22, but the fiscal cliff debate led it to push back the official start by eight days. The IRS also previously announced that certain taxpayers -- including those claiming residential energy credits and general business credits -- will need to wait to file until late February or March.

And while these higher education credits have now been added to the list of delays, other education benefits like tuition and fees and student loan interest deductions can still be claimed starting Jan. 30. To top of page

Join the Conversation
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.36%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
CNNMoney Sponsors
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.