The PATH Act will delay your tax refund until after February 15th if you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your tax return. The PATH Act lifts on February 16th. It does not apply to people who only claimed the Child Tax Credit (CTC)
- Your tax refund is not legally allowed to be released by the IRS until after February 15th if you claimed the the EITC and/or the ACTC on your tax return.
- The PATH Act law was passed in 2015 which became effective 2017 and applies every year.
- You can expect a message on the IRS Where’s My Refund (WMR) tool about the PATH Act until 2/15. On 2/16 it should update to processing. On 2/17 it should update when to expect your deposit.
- It does not apply to all people with children. If you only filed the Child Tax Credit (CTC) it does not apply.
If it is your first time claiming the EITC and/or the ACTC you might question why your tax refund will be held. Maybe you just need a refresher and question if the PATH Act still applies this year. Either way, you probably wonder when the PATH Act lifts and when to expect your tax refund deposit.
The PATH Act law applies every year for taxpayers who claim the EITC and/or the ACTC on their tax return. It is a law that has been in place since 2015 and became effective in 2017. The provisions of the PATH Act stipulate that certain tax refunds be held until after February 15th. It will remain in place unless a new law changes it. It does not apply to everyone who has children. If you claimed only the regular Child Tax Credit (CTC) your refund will not be delayed.
Check your Tax Return for PATH
If you are not sure what credit you claimed, you can look at your form 1040. Go to our guide to help find if you claimed these credits and how to find them.
Tax Refund Chart
You can see when we expect to see the first direct deposits on our 2023 tax refund chart.