The IRS has announced some people may have their tax refunds delayed next year. These tax refund delays are due to fraud prevention measures. Your refund is particularly likely to be delayed if you receive the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit.
Tax Refund Delays: What You Can Do
Starting in 2017, the IRS will be required to hold the entire refunds for taxpayers receiving such credits until at least February 15. This is intended to give the IRS more time to help detect and prevent fraud. As you might imagine, the IRS faces a lot of fraud attempts. In fact, tax time is a great time for scammers to try and commit fraud.
Even if you don’t get these credits your refund may be delayed due to increased security screenings the IRS has put in place to combat identity theft and tax refund fraud. However, the IRS says that most refunds will still be issued within the normal timeframe: 21 days or less, after being accepted for processing by the IRS. If you’re curious about your tax refund status, you can always use this tool to see where you are in the process.
Nevertheless, the IRS urges all taxpayers who are employed to check their tax withholding now to make sure they aren’t paying too little (or too much). It’s wise to do this in the late summer or early fall so you enough time to adjust the amount withheld before the tax year ends in December.
You can use the IRS’s online Withholding Calculator to determine how much should tax be withheld from your pay by your employer.
As always, be sure to pay all the taxes you’re supposed to pay but don’t be shy about taking deductions. Deductions legally lower your taxable income, effectively lowering your taxes. That means you can expect more money in your pocket.