IRS to Delay Tax Refunds

The start of tax season is less than two weeks away and more than 40 million low-income families could experience a two-week delay in tax refunds.
News 25’s Kendra Turley explains the reason for the delay and who it will affect.
Tax season is right around the corner, but a new law causes a delay for many people who rely on refund checks for big-ticket purchases. Resident Amanda Stevens said, “It affects us with our baby coming on the way, allowing us to buy things for the new baby. It pushes it back because I’m actually due at the beginning of next month.”
This year, the tax filing season starts on Monday, January 23rd. Under the new law, people claiming the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit will have to wait until February 15th for tax refunds. Resident Arymundo Franco said, “We’re trying to fix up our car. Our head gasket from the motor blew up so we can’t really use the car until we fix it up.”
The agency says the delay allows officials more time to screen returns for fraud. The IRS estimates it issued nearly $47 billion in fraudulent tax refunds to identity thieves over the past couple of years.
The IRS commissioner says the agency had to get more aggressive in screening tax returns because crooks are becoming more and more sophisticated.
Even though the delay is just a few weeks, some families say that time frame is critical. “They might be behind on their mortgage. It could kick people out of their houses. You never know. You never know the circumstances,” said resident Bianca Franco.
The federal filing deadline this year will be delayed until April 18th, three days later than normal. However, the IRS still advises taxpayers to file as early as possible.

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