New Tax Law to Affect When Refunds Will Be Issued in 2017

Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act will affect refunds

Officials from United Way’s Erie FREE Taxes program are encouraging all filers to take note of the recent announcement of a new tax law, Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, which has been passed to help make sure taxpayers receive the refund they are owed. The PATH Act will delay when some receive their tax refund for the 2017 filing season. Tax fraud at tax time has become a major problem across the country. To help make sure tax payers receive the refund they are owed, a new tax law has been passed that will delay when some receive their tax refund. This delay will give the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) time to help find and stop fraud and make sure tax payers receive the refund they are owed.

The IRS cannot release tax refunds before February 15 to those who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). This affects all EITC or ACTC claimants receiving a refund, including those who prepare their own returns, use a VITA free tax site, or pay to have their returns prepared in 2017. The entire refund will be delayed, not just the EITC or ACTC refund amount. For taxpayers who use direct deposit or a re-loadable debit card, their refund will likely arrive in their bank account or on their debit card the week of February 27, 2017.

Any taxpayer who is concerned about the status of their refund should check Where's My Refund on www.IRS.gov or the IRS2Go phone app. Where’s My Refund will be updated a few days after February 15 with deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers.

About United Way Erie FREE Taxes: United Way Erie FREE Taxes is a program established to help eligible low to moderate income wage earners claim the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a cash refund, providing them with free tax preparation and filing services at volunteer tax sites throughout Erie County. Learn more: www.UnitedWayErie.org/ErieFreeTaxes