Tax Snafu Delays Up to 600K Returns

Morning Business Memo

A filing error involving America's biggest tax preparation firm, H&R Block, and other providers, could delay about 600,000 returns for up to six weeks. Many of them are for students who need the tax receipt to apply for financial aid. Tax prep customers are upset. "They could have sent out a mass email to all of their clients letting us know … that they have a problem and the money is not there," says H&R Block customer Angela Adams in Raleigh, North Carolina. The IRS revealed the snafu, saying it involves form 8863, which must be filled to qualify for the student tax credit. H&R Block confirmed that for some customers its e-fling software failed to complete the form correctly.

A statement issued by H&R Block today said "any problems that occurred with Form 8863 have been fixed," and that its customers who were affected have to take no immediate action. "The IRS has informed us and other impacted providers that they are currently processing returns and should be able to more accurately provide refund timelines via its "Where's My Refund?" web site," said the statement. Some H&R Block clients are already reporting a change in their refund status since the IRS began processing these returns.

READ MORE: See full coverage of tax filing stories.

Americans continue to add to their credit card debt. But a new survey by finds the increase has slowed. "Consumers are managing the credit better than they did last year but they are still headed in the wrong direction." says John Kiernan, CardHub's director of industry research and analysis. Consumers' debt rose in 2012, but at a lower rate than in 2011. "They still incurred $36.2 billion in new credit card debt as a whole." Some consumers are really struggling with debt. "People can sustain their debt and manage to get by with minimum payments until it's too late and they head over the edge," says Kiernan.

A plan by Boeing to redesign the 787 Dreamliner's lithium-ion batteries has won approval from the FAA. But officials gave no estimate for when the planes would be allowed to fly passengers again. The plan includes changes to the internal battery components to cut the possibility of short-circuiting, which can lead to overheating and cause a fire. Among the changes are better insulation of the battery's eight cells and the addition of a new containment and venting system, the FAA said in a statement.

The stock market streak continues - just. The Dow Jones index continues its longest winning streak in two years. For the eighth straight day the Dow gained ground yesterday, rising by 3 points to 14,450. Other market averages closed down slightly and stock futures are lower this morning.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio