PATH Act: Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes

 

PATH Act Summary

Here’s a brief summary of the Path Act: The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes or PATH Act was passed in late 2015. Many U.S. citizens are affected by the PATH Act to some extent. This law helps to protect individuals and their families from the risk of tax fraud.

How the PATH Tax Act May Affect You:

Let’s explore how the PATH Tax Act may affect your taxes when filing your taxes.

1 – Possible Refund Delays for Early Filers

If you are an individual who claims the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) you may be first in line for delayed returns.

Tax fraud crimes have been on a recent uptick and to safeguard your refund, the IRS has adopted a policy to not release refunds until after February 15th. This gives the IRS time to stop payment release of any false filings under your identity, thus protecting your refund.

2 – ITIN Changes and Renewals

Since October of 2016, the PATH Act sparked a need for a population of taxpayers to renew their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

The PATH Act requires that any ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years will no longer be valid. That means responsibility is passed to the taxpayer to keep their own ITIN up-to-date.

Those who have an ITIN are typically not eligible for a Social Security Number. If you are an individual holding an ITIN with the middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86, or 87, you may have recently received a letter from the IRS. This letter is a friendly reminder to keep your ITIN number up-to-date before tax season.  Check out H&R Block’s Tax Information Center for more details regarding your ITIN.

Where to Go for More Help

For additional IRS news and up-to-date PATH Tax Act updates, visit the Newsroom. Whether you make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable tax pros or choose one of our online tax filing products, you can count on H&R Block to help you out.

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