Facts About the PATH Act and Tax Refunds

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Starting on January 24, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially kicked off the opening of the 2022 tax filing season and is now accepting and processing tax year 2021 e-filed tax returns.

TurboTax is also officially open and accepting e-filed returns. That means that you can file now and be first in line for your tax refund!

To get your tax refund as quickly as possible, the IRS urges people to prepare their taxes as soon as they have the information needed to file and choose e-file with direct deposit. Overall, the IRS anticipates most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of acceptance when they e-file with direct deposit if there are no issues with their tax return. 

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, signed into law in December 2015, the IRS cannot issue refunds that include Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February.

The PATH Act, which applies to all tax preparation methods, is intended to help detect and prevent tax fraud. The extended refund release also gives the IRS more time to ensure taxpayers are properly claiming the credits, so they get the refund they are owed.

If you have questions about the processing of your tax refund, the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” page is the best place to get personalized refund information when you need it.

For more information on the PATH Act and other tax laws, check back here with the TurboTax blog.

54 responses to “Facts About the PATH Act and Tax Refunds”

  1. Why are there only questions here from 2019????!! How exactly does TurboTax think 2019 problems relate in any way to 2022 (2021 tax year)??? Worthless.

  2. I did my taxes with you guys and I’m having the same problem as most people but as I read, I only see a reply to a question 1 out of 10 questions there’s no point of leaving a question I guess…never again

    • Hi Angelica,

      What type of question did you have? If your question is regarding a refund; here is some information to help.

      TurboTax does not issue or track refunds. The IRS issues all refunds.

      If you have an IRS acknowledgement then they are processing the return. If the return has been accepted then check the status of the tax refund via IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool, https://www.irs.gov/refunds.

      Please note you will need the following information when checking on your refund status:
      Social security number or ITIN
      Your filing status
      Your exact refund amount

      However per the IRS; a phone representative can research the status of your refund if it’s been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or, more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return or if the Where’s My Refund? tool directs you to contact them.

      Here is more information on how to call the IRS for Refund Status:
      7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time

      Have the following ready when you call:
      • Social Security numbers (SSN) and birth dates
      • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for taxpayers without a Social Security number
      • Filing status – single, head of household, married filing joint, or married filing separate
      • Prior-year tax return
      • Tax return you’re calling about
      • Most recent correspondence sent to you (if any)

      Thank you

  3. I filed mine end of January. 2 weeks later I received my state refund… and usually 2 weeks after that I receive my federal! This is the FIRST year the IRS needs to review my taxes. It’s June1st now and still haven’t received anything! I got 3 letters from the IRS .. verified all my information and they tell me not to do anything but to patiently wait… Normally I wouldn’t mind but someone who just lost their job, bills heading tO collections AND behind on my bills. This is absolutely irritating and some BS! What can I do to get this process done quicker?? SMH

    • Hello,

      Sorry you are having refund delays. Per the IRS here are steps you can take:

      Request an expedited refund by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 (TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059).

      Explain your hardship situation; and
      Request a manual refund expedited to you.
      The IRS will likely request documentation of your financial hardship such as copies of shutoff notices, eviction or foreclosure notices, etc., as well as other supporting information like a copy of your tax return with the refund claim.
      Respond promptly to the IRS’s request.

      View the IRS website for more information: https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/get-help/expediting-a-refund

      Thank you

    • Hi Aaron,

      The IRS issues all tax refunds. TurboTax does not issue the actual refund.

      If you have an IRS acknowledgement then they are processing the return. You may also check the status of the tax refund via IRS
      “Where’s My Refund?” tool, https://www.irs.gov/refunds.

      Please note you will need the following information when checking on your refund status:
      Social security number or ITIN
      Your filing status
      Your exact refund amount

      Thank you

  4. Hey Lisa, I filed 2/5 and got accepted the same day. On 2/23 my bars disappeared & started and is still saying your refund is STILL being processed and a date would be provided when available with Tax Topic 152. Should I be concerned???

  5. I got an email from TurboTax saying that I would have my refund deposited on the next business day that happened yesterday February 27th at 3 in the morning I found that that’s not accurate how often does that happen with TurboTax and why on Earth would I have gotten the email

  6. Yes mine said excepted on feb 2 the same date of filed. Had one bar for two weeks to now it being still processing with no bar and no date

  7. Hi Lisa!
    I efiled and chose my refund to be mailed January 27th and it was accepted on the 28th. At first it was accepted and now it shows that its being delayed with a 1541 code.. When should I expect my return?

  8. I e-filed January 19 was accepted the 22nd of January all it says is redund has been received is behind processes. No topic or anything

  9. Hi Lisa it say my refund was accepted by the irs but when I go on the irs.gov to check my refund it doesn’t show me anything can you please help me

  10. Hi Lisa,
    I would like to know what is error 9001. I did my taxes 1/25 and was excepted 1/28 I checked WMR and it had one bar and now it gives me Topic 152 and Error code 9001. I was told I have to wait for a letter to then verify myself.. I been claiming the same dependents and don’t know what to do.

  11. I did my taxes jan 14th it was accepted I did the etic and child tax I still dont have a ddd and it says it was received and it is being processed should I be worried when my friend did hers later and have a date of getting hers Friday

    • Same here, I filed on the 28th and got accepted like the very next day, it was showing the bar it’s been accepted and o e day I checked bars was gone and it’s still saying “your tax return is STILL being processed ” 🙄

  12. I my federal taxes were accepted on January 29, 2019 and I do direct deposit why does IRS site says still processing it’s been 3 weeks

  13. I check the status of my refund it was sent out on the 28 of January and it say your refund is being process it being saying that for 5 days now

  14. My return was accepted on Jan 29 and I’m claiming my daughter and the eic. Will this delay my refund further than the typical 21 days?

  15. I received a cp74 letter today 02/19/2019 from IRS, does 6 weeks mean from the day accepted or from date letter received?

  16. I was excited January 22 2019 but I did get the EIC but it’s still saying med February before I would get it back February is just about over when can I expect it

  17. Hi Lisa! I filed my taxes with Turbo Tax and My refund was accepted on January 28. With a expected date for February 18. When I checked on wmr the bar was showing refund has been accepted and is being processed with a 152 tax topic. When I went to wmr February 16. It no longer had the bars and only said that my refund has been accepted and a refund date will be available. But when I checked wmr 3 hours later it only said that my refund has been accepted and is being process but still don’t have the bars nor does it have a 152 tax topic anymore or any other tax topic. What does that mean and should I be concern? Thanking you so much in advance.

    • mine is doing exactly the same thing but only i filed on the 9th of feb and federal accepted on the same day my state wasn’t able to be transmitted in’till the 19th of feb and it still says pending for my state on 02-28-2022 when i call the irs it says we have recieved your refund its being processed a date will be provided when available…and 152 tax topic code gone.

  18. Hi lisa my tax return was accepted on Feb 4th and it’s now going on Feb 18th I claimed the eic and the actc,I’m hoping its here by the 20th due you know if this wait time is normal its says there still processing my return and my federal taxes are complete

  19. I got an email saying to sign in to my turbo tax account to find out my estimated date on when to get my refund but when I do it doesn’t say anything except that it’s been excepted. Is there somewhere else I can go to find out what my estimated date is? It was excepted on January 30th,2019

  20. Hey Lisa…
    I’m concerned because I filed on Jan 30 and and it was received on Feb 2nd. It’s still processing and I’m getting worried….I have a refund containing EIC and actc.

  21. Hey Lisa I am claiming eitc/actc my refund status went from the path act to processing how long does this process normally take I know my return was accepted on January 29th

  22. Hi lisa i have filed my taxes with hr block they got accepted jan 27th im using the emerald card to get my refund back when i call the card it say my Federal taxes are complete but i did claim the earned income credit when should i expext my refund deposited?

  23. Hey Lisa i dont want to ask a question all i wantbto say for years i have using taxact and last year i decided to use i decided to use TurboTax and all i can say it was amazing using this system because yall hold all of my information for the prior year unlike taxact i always had to look for the adjusted gross income on other paper…what a phenomenal job

    • Thank you Neffratia. Glad you like our product. I will let our product team know your feedback. Good luck with your taxes.
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Hi Lisa it’s been 16days since the irs accepted my refund and it is still saying that it is being processed should I be worried?

      • I file my taxes february 3rd 2019 with turbotax .. So I got an email from turbotax saying my return was accepted.. So on the February 9, 2019 I went to irs gov where’s my refund so I put my information in and it said I have to wait 24 hours after i get my email saying I been accepted.. So i check it again today February 15 2019 n it still have the same message u have to wait 24 hours after i get my accepted email but I got that on February 4 2019 saying that I were accepted.. No only that it has the tax topic 152

      • Hello there I was trying to see what does it mean when it’s still saying your tax return is still being processed an refund date will be available

  24. I chose turbo for the last time just last year I have get to recieve my refund and also have tried to contact turbo tax many times all I have done with y’all is waste my time and money for the services I paid for

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