Filing Season Is Now Open

As of yesterday you can now officially file your 2016 tax return!  Although filing early, for some, may not mean an early refund.  There’s a new law that requires the IRS hold refunds until mid-February.  This will only affect those that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit.

I know, you’re thinking, they’ve already had your money long enough, so why do they get to hold onto it longer?  There’s a perfectly good reason for this and it has to do with identity theft and refund fraud.  The cliff notes explanation is by holding the refund longer the agency is better able to weed out the fraudulent returns from the legitimate returns.  The IRS has been making significant progress in the fight against identity theft and refund fraud.  Thus far, they have seen a 50% decline in the number of new reports of stolen identities on tax returns.

I understand this is a complete inconvenience and frustration for our legitimate returns but it’s better to know what’s going on ahead of time.  The IRS will start releasing the refunds on February 15th but you shouldn’t expect to see the money in your account until after February 27th.

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