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IRS Issues Refund Reminder

As part of the Avoid the Rush tax tip series, the IRS yesterday reminded taxpayers about Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) refund delays. In addition to how weekends and Presidents Day fall on the calendar this year, one reason refund checks for returns claiming these credits will be delayed is the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act.

The PATH Act required that the IRS delay refunds for returns claiming the EITC and ACTC until February 15, due to tax-related identity theft concerns. This delay was designed to provide the agency more time for security reviews, a necessary component in combatting the billion-dollar fraud industry. Even though refunds started being issued on Wednesday, taxpayers should not expect refund money to be available until the week of February 27.

In addition to the reminder about PATH Act-related refund delays, the tax tip provides six facts about tax refunds:

• “The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. • The filing season started later this year — on Jan. 23. Although taxpayers could submit returns with a software provider or tax preparer in early January, the return was not filed with the IRS until the filing season opened on Jan. 23. • IRS customer service representatives cannot provide refund information until 21 days have passed since the return was filed. “Where’s My Refund?” provides the most up-to-date information. • “Where’s my Refund?” can also be accessed through the mobile app, IRS2Go. • “Where’s My Refund?” is updated once daily. Checking the tool multiple times each day will not produce new information or different results. • The Get Transcript tool will not reveal a tax refund status, despite the social media myth to the contrary.”

The IRS also noted that the “Where’s My Refund?” tool will be updated on February 18 for many early filers. Others “may see a projected date or a message that indicates the IRS is processing their return,” so it’s probably a good idea to check “Where’s My Refund?” tomorrow for an update on your return.

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