The IRS has announced it will issue refunds to filers claiming the Earned Income Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) later than in previous years, due to a change in federal law. Refunds to taxpayers who did not claim these credits will not be delayed.
The section of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) that involves the EITC and ACTC is designed to help taxpayers receive the refund they are owed while preventing fraud. The law mandates that, beginning in 2017, no part of a credit or refund shall be made before February 15 to any taxpayers claiming the EITC or ACTC.
If you claim these credits, you can still complete and file your tax return when the filing update of TaxAct is released in early January. Doing so will help you stay at the front of the line once the IRS starts issuing refunds. Keep in mind that after the refund is issued (after Feb. 15), it still needs to be processed by your bank or other financial institution. Make sure to plan for this, as well as weekends and the President's Day holiday. The IRS has indicated that it "is unlikely that your refund will arrive in your bank account or on a debit card before the week of February 27 (assuming your return has no processing issues and you elect direct deposit).
Please note: If you don't claim the EITC or ACTC, there is no delay and the IRS will issue most refunds within 21 days of January 23, 2017.
For more information please visit the IRS Newslink.