The IRS had previously announced that these returns would be delayed until mid-February as it updated the processing systems needed to accept Form 8863, which is used to claim both the American Opportunity Tax Credit and 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.
The IRS also announced Friday that it will start processing returns claiming property depreciation this Sunday.
"This step clears the way for almost all taxpayers to start filing their tax returns for 2012," the IRS said in a statement.
But some taxpayers with more complex returns, including those claiming residential energy credits and general business credits, still have to wait until March. The full list of forms being accepted during the first week of March can be found on the IRS website.
For the majority of taxpayers, the filing season kicked off Jan. 30.
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