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Tax season begins, certain refunds to be on hold until mid-February

Posted at 6:29 AM, Jan 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-28 08:15:00-05

The IRS officially begins accepting tax returns today. Despite the previous government shutdown, refunds will be issued to taxpayers as scheduled, the IRS said in a statement.

“We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown. I appreciate the hard work of the employees and their commitment to the taxpayers during this period,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

However, those who claim Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit may experience a refund hold due to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act.

The PATH Act, enacted on Dec. 18, 2015, says that the IRS can not issue a refund on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit until Feb. 15. The additional time helps the IRS stop fraudulent refunds from being issued to identity thieves and fraudulent claims with fabricated wages and withholdings, the IRS said in a statement.

The earliest date the IRS expects refunds to be issued for returns with Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit is Feb. 27, 2019, if these taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.

The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically to minimize errors and for faster refunds.

After filing, you can use the IRS “Where’s My Refund” tool to determine when your refund will arrive.

The filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2019 for most taxpayers.