PATH Act 2018: Impact On Your Taxes

December 19, 2017 : Diamond Lambert

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.

Recently, the IRS has announced that they will begin issuing refunds starting mid-February. It’s likely that you won’t see your federal refund appear in your bank account until February 27th (via direct deposit) or later.

Let’s explore how the PATH Act may affect your taxes when filing in 2018.

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.

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 ITIN’s 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 tax payer 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 70,71,72, 78, 79 or 80, 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.  For more details regarding your ITIN, visit this page.

The New Wrongful-Incarceration Exclusion

If you are an individual who was wrongfully incarcerated, the PATH Act extends a special one-year window for you to file a refund claim.

This claim can be based on any of the following:

  • Civil damages (loss, detriment, injury, or unlawful conduct)
  • Restitution (reparations for wrongdoings)
  • Other monetary awards received

According to the PATH Act, even if the typical statute of limitations has expired for the year, you may still be able to file under the new legislation.

For additional IRS news and up-to-date PATH Act updates, visit the Newsroom at

Related Topics

Related Resources

Everything You Need To Know About The New IRS Whistleblower Program

Regarding illegal alien taxes, my nanny is an illegal alien and I paid her under the table. She’s planning on filing a r

Will your taxes be affected if an illegal alien names you as their employer? Get your questions answered from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Tax Myths—Busted! | H&R Block

When it comes to making everyday tax decisions, we find that there's a gap between what's true and what's rumored. Let's explore four common tax myths.

The IRS, Bitcoin, and Other Virtual Currencies | H&R Block

Have you found yourself wondering how the IRS classifies Bitcoin? Our tax pros discuss relevant IRS Bitcoin law and notices. Learn more with H&R Block.

Diamond Lambert

Diamond Lambert

Diamond is your number one supporter of all things #taxeswon! She devotes countless hours as a marketing and advertising team manager at H&R Block World Headquarters. Diamond is a graduate of Franklin University holding a Master’s of Science in Marketing & Mass Communications.