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If you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the IRS shows your refund will be released mid-February.

Refunds should be available in your account by the first week of March if you chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with your tax return.

The IRS recommends filing in early January, to ensure your refund is available on or shortly after the mid-February hold date.

The reason for the hold or delay

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), which includes the EITC and ACTC, is designed to help taxpayers receive their refunds, while still protecting against fraud. The law requires refunds and credits for those claiming an EITC or ACTC not be released until after mid-February.

For more information, see the IRS Refund Timing for Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit Filers topic.

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.


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