Federal Tax Law May Affect Some Refunds
Filed in Early 2017;
IRS to Share Details Widely with Taxpayers
Starting This Summer
Internal Revenue Service has announced
initial plans for processing tax returns
involving the Earned Income Tax Credit
and Additional Child Tax Credit during
the opening weeks of the 2017 filing season.
The IRS is sharing the information now
to help the tax community prepare for
the 2017 season, and plans are being made
for a wider communication effort this
summer and fall to alert taxpayers about
the changes that will affect some early
This action is driven by
the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes
Act of 2015 (PATH Act) that was enacted
Dec. 18, 2015, and made several changes
to the tax law to benefit taxpayers and
their families. Section 201 of this new
law mandates that no credit or refund
for an overpayment for a taxable year
shall be made to a taxpayer before Feb.
15 if the taxpayer claimed the Earned
Income Tax Credit or Additional Child
Tax Credit on the return.
This change begins Jan.
1, 2017, and may affect some returns filed
early in 2017. Additional information
is listed below:
To comply with the law, the
IRS will hold the refunds on EITC and
ACTC-related returns until Feb. 15.
This allows additional time to
help prevent revenue lost due to identity
theft and refund fraud related to fabricated
wages and withholdings.
The IRS will hold the entire
refund. Under the new law, the IRS cannot
release the part of the refund that
is not associated with the EITC and
Taxpayers should file as they
normally do, and tax return preparers
should also submit returns as they normally
The IRS will begin accepting
and processing tax returns once the
filing season begins, as we do every
year. That will not change.
The IRS still expects to issue
most refunds in less than 21 days, though
IRS will hold refunds for EITC and ACTC-related
tax returns filed early in 2017 until
Feb. 15 and then begin issuing them.
This is one more step the
IRS is taking to ensure taxpayers receive
the refund they are owed. The IRS plans
to work closely with stakeholders and
IRS partners to help the public understand
this process before they file their tax
returns and ensure a smooth transition
for this important law change.
More information about this
law will be posted to IRS.gov and shared
with partners and taxpayers throughout
the second half of 2016.
Last Reviewed or Updated: 09-Jun-2016
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