Yesterday, the IRS released a statement that the processing of Form 8863 will be delayed until mid-February. Form 8863 is used to claim two higher education credits — the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit – but 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. People otherwise able to file and claiming these benefits can start filing Jan. 30.
If you have not yet filed but plan to use form 8863 (education credit), you CAN and SHOULD still prepare your taxes now. I will file your return so that it will be put it in the filing system queue and transmitted the moment the IRS is ready to process these returns in mid-February. This will ensure your return is filed and processed at the earliest possible moment.