Families Can Expect Delays in 2017 Income Tax Refunds

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Tax season is almost upon us and families are beginning to check their mailboxes in hopes of finding their W-2’s in order to file and receive their refunds as quickly as possible.

This year, however, some families will be disappointed to learn that the IRS recently announced that families who file their returns with an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) will not be receiving their refund as quickly as expected.

In an update released by the IRS on December 16, 2016, the federal organization stated, “The IRS will begin to release EITC/ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15. However, the IRS cautions taxpayers that these refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or debit cards until the week of February 27.”


Families that do not claim an EITC or ACTC can still expect their returns to be processed quickly.

The new federal law, known as the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act also known as the PATH Act, was put into effect in 2015. However, new changes to the law are the cause of the extra delays.

According to tax experts, returns will officially be released on February 15 but due to processing time and verification of account information and banking information, deposits are not expected to start until the week of February 27.

The delay will affect refund recipients that file electronically as well as those who opt in for a mailed check.

Another change in the law also states that for families filing with an EITC or ACTC, the entire refund amount will be held, including the portion not associated with those credit.

Recipients will still be able to check the status of their refunds online at IRS.gov using the Where’s My Refund page or the IRS2Go mobile app.