The IRS wants taxpayers to be aware of several factors that could affect the timing of their tax refunds next year. Due to a December 2015 law, the IRS cannot issue refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. Under the change required by Congress in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, the IRS must hold the entire refund – even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC.
This law change, which went into effect in 2017, helps ensure that taxpayers get the refund they are owed by giving the IRS more time to help detect and prevent fraud.
Stronger Security Filters and Tax Refund Processing
As the IRS steps up its efforts to combat identity theft and tax refund fraud through its many processing filters, legitimate refund returns sometimes get delayed. While the IRS is working diligently to stop fraudulent refunds from being issued, it is also focused on releasing legitimate refunds as quickly as possible.
The IRS, state tax agencies, and the private sector tax industry continue to work together to fight fraud through their Security Summit partnership. Additional safeguards will be set in place for the 2018 filing season.