Tax Refund Delay Extravaganza Kicks off the 2017 Tax Season

Tax Refund DelayMost people already know about the tax refund delay for 2017.  This isn’t because the IRS just feels like holding your money for fun this year. The IRS introduced us to this back at the end of 2015 but some are just finding out about it now.  Let it be known– if you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your 2017 tax return it will be delayed, if you are an early filer.  So if ya don’t know, now ya know!

The IRS is not the Villian who planned a tax refund delay

New for 2017, even if you file your return and it gets accepted early, refunds with the EITC or ACTC won’t be released until February 15th according to the IRS. A new law took affect in 2017 that requires these type of refunds to be held.  What!!!? This is what will cause the tax refund delay. We wrote about the new law here in our PATH Act post where you can read more about the actual bill itself. The IRS isn’t being being a bully by holding on to our refunds.They are just the agency that carries out the what the the PATH Act requires. Don’t let yourself get into a pickle. Plan ahead.  I know it may seem like a punishment, but the IRS has been trying to stop ID theft and fraud.  They are hoping with this delay that they can ensure refunds get into the proper hands and keeping them from ID thefts and people who fraudulently claim these credits. The IRS believes many of these illegal returns tend to be filed early in the tax season. They have been getting skewered by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General over these matters. If you want to read more about these recommendations (butt chewings) and see the mechanics of the  new law, head over there to that PATH Act post.

Will the tax refunds be deposited on February 15th?

You very well could wake up to a tax refund deposit soon after February 15th.  We don’t know when the deposits will be sent.  That remains to be seen. But the IRS is saying don’t count on it until end of February.  We expect those with Netspend cards and similar types of cards who post deposits earlier than some banks to see deposits first.  But as the story always goes, it’s all speculation until the IRS refund machine starts pumping out deposits.

Let’s be real, there is always some sort of glitch.

We are not sure what is store for us this tax season, there always seems to be some sort of glitch every year. It’s easy to wonder if the new procedures will cause even more of a delay.  I can’t imagine a January or February without tax refund mania. We have come to expect the three ring circus and accept the daily nuttiness from our early filers (myself included). Count on the tax refund grapevine at igotmyrefund.com to help.  If you need more information please post a question and we will try our best to get you an answer. Also, search our site we have tons of information on many different topics.

POST YOUR ACTUAL TAX REFUND EXPERIENCE HERE: This is a “user to user” site and the primary mode of support is peer-to-peer, meaning users helping other users. Admin and moderators are not always present or may not have answers to questions. Users becomes more informed when they are here often to read and comment. We call them Top Contributors. We are not a group of experts, merely individuals who have learned more than we ever wanted to know about the tax refund process.

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What Others Are Saying:

  1. Joe P.

        If the IRS is going to be holding our money and making us wait then they need to be paying us interest on our money! If they say we owe the IRS money and don’t pay it when they say then they charge us interest. It’s only fair since they wanna hold our refunds longer for no damn reason.I don’t see how this path act is going to help stop fraud. It’s just an excuse to keep our money longer. I used turbotax and am married with 3 kids so I have the EIC and ACTC.

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      • Jamie1234

            @Nichole: Thanks Nicole….I know all i claimed was the child tax credit but wasn’t eligible for the EIC…..since I got the child tax credit for my 2 children, does that also go in the same category as the ACTC?

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          • Jamie1234

                I filed early in January and was accepted on 1/18 but still no refund……I checked the IRS where’s my refund and still says “Received”……now if the Topic 152 is on there, that means I won’t receive until after 2/15, correct?

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              • Nichole

                    @Connie: The PATH message is the message about checking back after February 15th for your individual tax refund status. The code 152 is just general information about refunds I think. I got the PATH message and code 152 too. I’ve also read that code 152 just means you’re getting direct deposit.

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                  • Connie

                        This is the message I received under my Topic 152:
                        Additionally, beginning in 2017, a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds related to tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until mid-February. Under the change required by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, the IRS must hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC — until February 15. The IRS will begin to release EITC/ACTC refunds starting February 15. However, the IRS cautions taxpayers that these refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of February 27 (assuming there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit). Read more about refund timing for early EITC/ACTC filers.

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                      • Nichole

                            I used H&R Block to do my taxes just like we have done forever and I read online that on the H&R Block app it shows when your taxes were completed. Mine says that they were completed on January 30th. I ordered transcripts on January 26th and now I’m thinking that I might get blank transcripts in the mail. This is all confusing!

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                          • Connie

                                I am confused what is the Path Act message? I have the Tax Topic 152 which includes the message about them holding refunds for EITC until after Feb 15th is that the same thing or should I expect a different message?

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                              • Nichole

                                    I filed and was accepted on 1/23. On 1/24 I had one bar on WMR. On 1/26 I got the PATH message and code 152. On 1/26 I was able to request my return transcript through the mail. I still have not received my transcripts yet and I’m hoping that they aren’t blank!

                                    I’ve read that people are getting blank transcripts in the mail. I hope that doesn’t happen to me.

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                                  • SherryA

                                        I filed on January 23rd using TT and I also filed the EITC and the Child Care tax credits on this year’s return as in the previous 7 years. I do not have a DDD as of today just the TT152 on the WMR update. However, I was able to order my IRS transcripts for 2016 as of today. I hope it means that my return has been processed and I am just waiting for the release date of Feb 15th for a deposit.

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                                      • Heather

                                            I think they are holding the entire refund so they don’t have to process refunds twice to accounts. If they release a portion it’s a pain for them to go back in on millions of returns to reset deposits again for those credits.

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                                          • EricksMomInFL

                                                @SherryA: Hi! It is definitely meant for early filers, as like you stated, the ITS claims that there is evidence of rampant tax fraud in the early weeks of tax season.

                                                While they tell people that if you file early (and as they are also actively encouraging people to file early), they’re also telling those same people to be prepared for a long wait for their money. Those who file after February 15th will not encounter the same delays. However, they don’t want everyone to wait because they want returns to check early AND they didn’t want to cause a glitch or overload of returns filed by people hoping to avoid a long wait, thus creating a resequence.

                                                What grinds my fears is the fact they are holding the ENTIRE refund, not just the credits portion. Basically, they’re telling us taxpayers that they have the right to hold the money they’ve already been holding as an overpayment to them, at 0% interest, until they deem it necessary to pay you back, and that’s not right.

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                                              • Kimberly*

                                                    @Steavi: It didn’t a couple of years ago when my bf owed the IRS, they just took the remaining balance owed and direct deposited the refund left as normal. It actually went very quick the year that happened. But every one returns can go differently unfortunately.

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                                                  • Haras

                                                        @Zoie: same here, i dont mind waiting on the delay, i just want to know if they approve my refund. Every year i check just to make sure it has been approved but with this new law all i get is that message.

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                                                      • CeeCee101

                                                            My federal was accepted 24th state was 27th . I saw the orange bar last week . Now itd telling me I put the wrong info it or re enter it . How is that possible . I got emails and text messages that day saying both returns was accepted

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                                                          • NJ

                                                                @Zoie: A lot of people online are saying that the message means that you are approved and you just have to wait until February 15th to get an update on WMR. But other people are saying that it is just a generic message and returns with EIC/ACTC are sort of being pushed to the side until February 15th. I hope it is the first reason.

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                                                              • SherryA

                                                                    @EricksMomInFL: What I would like to know is does the PATH Act affect only those who file before February 15th? Most of the fraudulent returns are early filers, according to the IRS. Or, does it mean anyone who files after 2/15 will not be subject to a delay. The language regarding the date is very confusing.

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                                                                  • Nikki17

                                                                        I’m guessing returns that do look suspicious will be held onto but hopefully ones that check out OK will get theirs quickly starting the 15th

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                                                                      • Zoie

                                                                            Hello everyone what does it mean when you get the path act message ? I was accepted by IRS on the 13th had one bar on wmr and now that’s gone and just this long message called path act

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                                                                          • EricksMomInFL

                                                                                I’m of two minds about the PATH ACT issue:

                                                                                On one hand, we as taxpayers give the IRS a lot of grief about a variety of issues, but the one at the forefront is: delayed returns due to fraud or I’D Theft, or simple human error. They make you wait for MONTHS to resolve an issue that should take weeks at the most. This Act may be just the thing to stem the flow of those horribly stressful situations. It gives your employees until Jan. 31st to have their [email protected]$! together and submitted to the IRS, AND it keeps everyone honest.

                                                                                On the other hand, the IRS should have figured this out a LONG TIME AGO, and with this law enactment it comes off as a way to screw taxpayers who has been honest and simply want their returns processed swiftly and accurately. My issue is- why hold up ALL of the refund? If they were simply holding the EITC and ACTC funds and released the funds owed to you that’s left, many of us wouldn’t be so stressed. Heck, they’ve done that for years, and with success I might add. But the idea that you would enact, by law, that I’m not entitled to at the least the money I EARNED and at 0% interest from the Treasury, is a bit on the nose.

                                                                                Maybe in the coming uears, we can pressure the lawmakers to revise this law to give hard-pressed taxpayers some relief, as not everyone can “plan ahead”.
                                                                                Just my little musings.

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                                                                              • SherryA

                                                                                    @Christina468: Yes! With all of the technology at our disposals today you would think that would have a system in place that flags “suspicious” tax returns. I still don’t see how this will stop those have figured out a way around the system, slow them down a little, but I doubt it will completely stop them.

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                                                                                  • Kimikaze

                                                                                        @Brennan: Does it say approved or accepted? You can try checking WMR on the IRS website to see if they have more info for you. If you claimes EIC and/or ACTC then your refund will be held until after 2/15 due to the PATH Act

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                                                                                      • Brennan

                                                                                            So my refund was recieve and approve threw jackson hewitt its say acknowledged and when you click what that means it say recieve and aprprove. I have claim. Children will i get my refund the 14 of feb

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                                                                                          • Tsharris

                                                                                                @Christina468: my sister did the same thang and someone fraudulently filed her taxes and it took her months to get it straightened out…. I would rather be a little late than December this year

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                                                                                              • Kimikaze

                                                                                                    @Christina468: I know it seems unfair, but it should hopefully cut down on a lot of fraud. If someone’s identity was stolen then a fraudster could still file exactly as you would (Same filing status, kids, etc) but with a different checking account and steal the money. The PATH Act should hopefully eliminate a lot of these issues by allowing the IRS more time to review returns as well as give people more time to file and make sure no one else has already filed a fraudulent return.

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                                                                                                  • Christina468

                                                                                                        My husband and I have filed the same for the past 10 years we always claim our kids it’s the same married filling joint return every year why is it that every one who claims their children who’s filed the same for a long time is getting punished to I know you guys say where not getting punished but yes we are because even the people that are doing no wrong have to wait to see their money they should have found a way to put the ones through who are doing no wrong

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                                                                                                      • Barker75

                                                                                                            Hello Everyone! Not sure how many Az peeps are out there but I filed fed and state the 14th both accepted the 17th. I have been checking az state since the 17th and even checked throughout today and it kept saying they didn’t have any info then finally after 5:00 pm it says processing. It doesn’t give any other info other than that but at least it shows processing now.

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                                                                                                          • Lindseynlu

                                                                                                                @Nikki1985: If you qualify and claim the EIC or ACTC then yes. See if you did, it depends on income level if you qualify or not. If you did then IRS is required, by law, to hold those funds until 2/15. Doesn’t matter if you have claimed the kids before or not, only whether or you claimed the credits.

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