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The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued an updated version of its Refund Information Guidelines for the Tax Preparation Community publication, adding information on the expected delays to tax refunds in the 2017 filing season.
The 2017 tax season will begin on January 23. However, the IRS reminded taxpayers that, while it anticipates issuing more than nine out of ten refunds in fewer than 21 days, it is now required to hold refunds claiming the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit until February 15.
The delay to the refunds, which was laid down by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, is intended to allow the IRS more time to weed out fraudulent credit and refund claims.
In addition, the IRS confirmed that it will take several days for the delayed refunds to be released and processed through financial institutions. Factoring in weekends and the President's Day holiday, the agency cautioned that many affected taxpayers may not have actual access to their refunds until the week of February 27.
In recent remarks regarding the opening of the tax filing season, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that the agency expects to receive more than 153m individual tax returns this year. Last year, the IRS issued almost 111m refunds, averaging USD2,857, and expects numbers "to be in that ballpark again this year."
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