12 ON YOUR SIDE: Tax return delays with H&R Block

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A filing mistake by H&R Block is causing anger and major problems for hundreds of thousands of people.

The IRS says 600,000 are affected by the error. Many of them are students, who are just now learning it may take another four to six weeks before they see their money. They need that money to pay for books and the tax receipt to apply for financial aid.

Kendra Rogers filed early - January 31 - and expected to get her $5,700 return by February 14.

She says H&R Block, Arboretum location, told her the school tax credit would cause her return to take a little longer but says she never expected waiting this long - and without an explanation, despite repeated calls to the office about her delayed return.

"The first time I talked to them, she laughed. She laughed in the phone," said Kendra.

Kendra believes the IRS alerted H&R Block before now of its mistake, and they failed to tell their customers.

"They get alerts. Updates throughout the day of the IRS situation, so they knew about it."

The IRS says the snafu involves Form 88-63. The form must be filed to qualify for the student tax credit.

The filing mistake is with returns filed before February 22. H&R block says the IRS changed the way it processes some of the questions on the form. Leaving the form blank to indicated 'no' to some of the questions in the past, now requires preparers to enter an 'n'.

"Give me a date. Compensate me the fees. I'm not asking for all of it back, but give me something. Take the direct deposit fee off. This is a truly inconvenience, I expect my return."

I went to the Arboretum office to try and find out how much longer Kendra may have to wait. The office manager said she was the wrong person and referred me to corporate.

Kendra paid almost $300 in H&R Block fees, and more in other charges. We don't know if she'll get any of that back, but H&R Block's statement on it's Facebook page says in part, "we do apologize for the inconvenience to our clients."

It also says it's working with the IRS to expedite a solution to this issue for all affected clients.

"I'm angry," said Kendra. "I'm so disappointed that they treated us like it was nothing. And I'm still waiting. Here I am in March, waiting."

Roughly 6.6 million tax returns include Form 88-63, but only 10 percent are affected. The IRS says it's working aggressively to shorten the delay time.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.