Tax Refunds Delayed For Taxpayers Claiming Earned Income Credit Or Additional Child Tax Credit

Even if you file your taxes early, the IRS will place a mandatory hold on your refund if you claim EITC or ACTC on your return.

Tax Return Delay 2018
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Even if you file your taxes early, the IRS will place a mandatory hold on your refund if you claim EITC or ACTC on your return.

When will the IRS start accepting tax returns and why will there be a hold on refunds for those claiming Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit? You can start your return anytime, but the IRS will not start accepting tax returns until January 29, 2018. If there are no issues with the return, most taxpayers should get their refund by direct deposit approximately 21 days after their return is accepted and processed by the IRS. However, if you claim certain tax credits, your refund will be delayed, thanks to a modification to a tax law that was passed by Congress two years ago.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, changes were made to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act last year. These changes state that the IRS cannot start issuing refunds to those claiming EITC or ACTC until February 15 “to help prevent revenue lost due to identity theft and refund fraud related to fabricated wages and withholdings.”

Tax Refund Checks 2018
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Although the IRS will start releasing refunds on February 15, that doesn’t mean your refund will show up in your bank account in mid-February. Even if you file on January 29 and your return is accepted quickly, you may not see funds in your bank account until at least the end of February, if not later. And if you file your return by mail, expect to wait even longer.

If you e-file and choose to have your funds direct deposited into your bank account or onto a prepaid debit card refund, the IRS states that refunds for those claiming EITC or ACTC will be available starting February 27, 2018, at the earliest. The refund date is not set in stone and could vary depending on your filing date and/or if there are issues with your tax return.

How to check your refund status

Once you file and your tax return is accepted, the IRS has two handy tools you can use to track your refund. Keep in mind, the expected refund date won’t be updated until at least February 15 if you claimed EITC and/or ACTC and is subject to change.

To check your refund online, head over to the official IRS Where’s My Refund tool and enter filing status, social security number, and the exact amount of your refund. You can also check your refund status on your iPhone or Android mobile device by downloading the free IRS2Go mobile app.