EIC Refund Delays

Taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit [EITC] or the Additional Child Tax Credit [ACTC] may experience a refund hold. According to the PATH Act [Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes], the IRS can’t issue these refunds before mid-February. 

The IRS expects the first EITC / ACTC related refunds to be available towards the beginning of March. Filers can utilize the Where’s My Refund tool to monitor their refund status but the IRS will not update EITC / ACTC refund statuses until at least February 22 so that will remain the best tool to use when checking the status of your refund.  

Why is my refund being held? 

If you claim the EITC or ACTC on your tax return, the IRS cannot issue your refund before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC. Like previous years, some tax refunds may be held if there are questions about the tax return or the IRS needs more information.

When will I get my refund?

The IRS expects the first EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if you chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with your tax return. Use the Where’s My Refund tool for your personalized refund date.

Why does it take so long for the funds to show up in my account?

It takes additional time for refunds to be processed after leaving the IRS, and for financial institutions to accept and deposit them to bank accounts and products like debit cards. Also, many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers. For EITC and ACTC filers, the three-day holiday weekend involving President’s Day affects their refund timing.