Facts About the PATH Act: New Law Requires IRS to Hold Some Refunds Until Feb. 15

Tax News Facts About the PATH Act: New Law Requires IRS to Hold Some Refunds Until Feb. 15

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, signed into law in December 2015, requires the IRS to hold tax refunds that include Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15, 2017.

The new tax law, 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.

The IRS will begin accepting and processing tax returns when they open for the season on January 23, 2017. Tax refunds for those who claim Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit will begin to be issued on February 15, 2017, so there’s no need to wait! The sooner you e-file your return, the sooner you’ll get your tax refund.  According to the IRS, taxpayers who claim the EITC or ACTC will likely see refunds the week of February 27.

Most taxpayers will not be impacted by the change in the law and the IRS expects the majority of tax refunds (more than 9 out of 10) will be issued in 21 days or less from acceptance. Last year, close to 75% of all taxpayers received a federal tax refund close to $2,800. Eight out of 10 taxpayers receiving tax refunds choose direct deposit, and e-file with direct deposit is still the fastest way to get your tax refund. If you have questions about the processing of your tax return, the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” site is the best place to get personalized refund information when you need it.

When you are ready to do your taxes, you can be confident that TurboTax has you covered. It’s up to date with latest tax laws, asks you simple questions, and searches for tax deductions and credits you may be eligible for based on your answers. For more information on the PATH Act and other tax laws check back here with the TurboTax blog.

Comments (48) Leave your comment

    1. 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

  1. 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???

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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?

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    1. 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 ” 🙄

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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?

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

      1. I went on turbo tax and it says accepted a d then I went on the irs.gov website and its says its processing.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

      1. Hi Lisa my tax return is still processing how long does it take to process what does 152 topic mean

  19. 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?

  20. 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

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

      1. 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?

      2. 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

      3. 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

  21. 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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