The IRS passed the PATH ACT in 2016 to combat refund fraud. Here's how the PATH Act may affect you, and what you can do to as you anticipate your refund.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act is a new tax law that requires the IRS to hold many taxpayers' refunds until at least February 15, 2017. 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, with half filing early.
The good news is, the PATH Act contains provisions to help combat tax fraud, a real problem facing today's taxpayers. With this extra time, the IRS can match wages and withholding information reported by employers and taxpayers.
The bad news is, the IRS must wait until at last February 15 to release impacted taxpayers' refunds, meaning you may have to wait until the week of February 27 to receive your full refund.
This additional delay could be for many reasons. It’s best to check your refund status as you wait.
Do I Need To File Differently?
No, you do not need to file differently than you would any other year. The IRS still expects to issue refunds within 21 days of filing for most taxpayers. However, if you claim the EITC or ACTC, your refund will be delayed until at least February 15, 2017.
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If you do want to explore ways to file, H&R Block has a range of options so you can choose the one that’s right for you. For instance, with More Zero you can file your 1040EZ, 1040A or 1040 with Schedule A (with itemized deductions) absolutely free online.
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