The IRS will not accept tax returns until January 23, 2017. The filing deadline will be April 18 due to April 15 falling on Saturday and the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington D.C. on April 17.
Congress (in the PATH Act) mandated the IRS to delay some refunds until February 15.
This is applicable to taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and/or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Under the law, the entire refund must be held until February 15. This was done to help identify and reduce identity theft and refund fraud. Taxpayers with these credits should file their returns as early as possible to avoid even longer delays. They can file by January 23, but any refund will be delayed until February 15. The IRS usually issues 90% of refunds in less than 21 days, but some returns are held longer for further review. As a result of this delay, taxpayers should plan accordingly if they are counting on a big refund to make major purchases.
Tax return preparers should also be aware of the IRS requirement, starting with 2016 returns, they will be now be subject to the due diligence requirement for taxpayers claiming the Additional Child Tax Credit and/or the Education Credits (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning).