Expecting a Tax Refund in 2017? Expect Delays

Posted by: Brookside Admin

Waiting for delayed tax refund

If you're organized and a go-getter, you might be in the habit of filing your tax return early in the new year. You would probably also expect to get your refund early too, but for large groups of tax payers in 2017, that won't be the case. 

For individuals who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Additional Child Tax Credit, delays are expected in issuing a refund. Even if you were to submit your tax return on the first day the IRS is accepting them, which in 2016 was January 19, you wouldn't get your refund back for about a month. That's at least a week longer than average. 

And, if you aren't one of the first returns in the mail, that delay could potentially be even longer. 

For the 2014 tax year, 27.5 million tax returns claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit, while 22.4 million claimed the Additional Child Tax Credit. 

With tens of millions of individuals potentially impacted by this delay in issuing refunds, what is the reason for the slow down? 

The motivation for many of the IRS's actions recently have been attempting to minimize identity theft and keep the records of tax payers private and secure. This action is no different. 

A recent change to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act by Congress instituted new rules for vetting and examining returns claiming these two specific tax credits. The hope is that more cases of fraud are flagged and caught, and that over time these delays are also shortened. 

While waiting an extra week or more for your return is a minor inconvenience, it's nothing compared to the theft of 101,000 Social Security numbers, which the IRS experienced in February. About 800 fraudlent tax returns were submitted in March using other stolen personal data. And, in 2015, 330,000 taxpayers had their personal data stolen. 

With all that considered, it's actually amazing that sufficient protection only requires an additional week of scrutiny for tax payers with one of two tax credits claimed. 

While the CPAs at Brown Kinion and Company can't make the IRS process your tax return any faster, we can ensure that your return is prepared quickly and accurately. For tax help for yourself, or your business, give us a call at one of our two convenient locations.