LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Arkansans waiting on tax returns to arrive for over a month, could be waiting up to six weeks more, thanks to a software glitch that's caused delays in processing forms for education credits.
"I'm not sure exactly what was left undone," she said, flipping through copies of her tax forms that were filed.
Laquana Smith paid H&R Block nearly $400 for tax preparation services, only to have a software bug slow up her return. H&R Block isn't the only company affected, according to the IRS, but the Internal Revenue Service wouldn't confirm which other companies could be seeing problems.
"It's been 31 days actually today," she said. "Each time I check the IRS website it says being processed."
Th 8863 form is what's causing problems for thousands of people. Sections 22 - 26, essentially five sections, could keep people waiting for 4-6 weeks. According to the IRS, the issue is affecting roughly 10 percent of people who file for the education credit, roughly 600 thousand people.
H&R Block claims tax professionals prepared the forms correctly, but a problem popped up in e-filing between February 14 and February 22, 2013. Essentially, H&R Block filers had been able to leave sections 22 - 26 blank to indicate "No" in response. A change to the software product didn't register a blank field as a "no", meaning forms looked incomplete to the IRS.
The company's CEO issued and apology on Facebook over the weekend saying, "We hear the frustration of those impacted by this issue loud and clear, and we're working every avenue we can to get your refund to you as fast as possible."
"In order to make it right an apology on Facebook is simply not enough. I didn't file my taxes on Facebook ," Smith said.
Smith is upset because she said the company never alerted her to the problem with her return. She told KARK she only found out when she called the IRS on Monday, after a coworker had been notified her return was under review for the same education credit form. Smith's coworker also, reportedly, filed with H&R Block.
"I never received an email or a phone call letting me know there was a problem," she said. "For me to find out on Facebook or through a coworker is sub-par service."
Smith wants more than a social media "sorry". She wants H&R Block to put its money where its mouth is.
"Not only do I want an apology, I expect at least half of my money back," she said. "I paid them $377 dollars for a tax professional to file my taxes, and they didn't get it right. I feel like I could have done this."
Smith believes she'll be waiting for that refund from the tax prep company even longer than her delayed tax return.
According to both the IRS and H&R Block, the issue has been corrected and the forms are now being processed. You can check on the status of your refund at the IRS website, but you do not need to take any additional steps for your filing to be processed.