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IRS releases refunds for those who claimed EITC and/or ACTC credits

PHOENIX - - As the IRS begins releasing refunds for taxpayers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit, the tax agency reminded taxpayers that they should not expect refunds to be available in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of Feb. 27. The additional time is due to several factors, including weekends, the Presidents Day holiday and the time banks often need to process direct deposits.

Many of these refunds had been held since the filing season started in late January due to new requirements of the 2015 Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that the most common question taxpayers have about the status of their refund can easily be answered on IRS.gov by visiting the "Where's My Refund?" tool. "Where's My Refund?" will be updated Feb. 18 for the vast majority of early filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit. Before Feb. 18, some taxpayers may see a projected date or a message that indicates the IRS is processing their return. The IRS added that taxpayers should keep in mind that "Where's My Refund?" is only updated once daily, usually overnight, so there's no need to check it multiple times per day.

Here are a few important things to know about tax refunds:

  • The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
  • The filing season started later this year -- on Jan. 23. Although taxpayers could submit returns with a software provider or tax preparer in early January, the return was not filed with the IRS until the filing season opened on Jan. 23.
  • IRS customer service representatives cannot provide refund information until 21 days have passed since the return was filed. "Where's My Refund?" provides the most up-to-date information.
  • "Where's My Refund?" can also be accessed through the mobile app, IRS2Go.
  • "Where's My Refund?" is updated once daily. Checking the tool multiple times each day will not produce new information or different results.
  • The Get Transcript tool will not reveal a tax refund status, despite the social media myth to the contrary.

This tip is part of the IRS Avoid the Rush news release series designed to provide taxpayers with the information they need, when they need it. More details on this series, including information on additional online resources, are available on IRS.gov.

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