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The PATH Act

What is the PATH Act?

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act is a tax law passed in 2015 that has a provision requiring the IRS to hold many taxpayers' refunds until February 15th in order to verify their information and prevent fraud. This will impact returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). Approximately 30 million taxpayers claim the EITC or ACTC.

The PATH Act contains provisions to help combat tax fraud. Holding tax refunds gives the IRS extra time to match wages and withholding information reported by employers and taxpayers. This extra verification process may cause some tax refunds to be held until late February.

Does the PATH Act impact filing?

No. Taxpayers do not need to file differently. While people who claim the EITC or ACTC may have their refund delayed, the IRS still expects to issue refunds within 21 days of filing for most taxpayers. Therefore, even if impacted by the PATH Act, taxpayers should file as normal when they have received all their tax documents.

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So how much will you get (or owe) this year? That’s the million-dollar question. We happen to have three very useful calculators to help you estimate your refund or balance due.

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