Tax refunds delayed for millions of Americans

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s officially time to start filing taxes, yet there are some big changes this year that will impact millions of Americans.

Congress mandated a delay this year to give the IRS more time to review tax returns and catch fraudulent ones. It impacts any returns claiming the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit. The IRS can’t issue refunds for those taxpayers before February 15.  Yet because of weekends and the President’s Day holiday, the IRS says they will likely have to wait until at least February 27.

So 9 On Your Side asked local expert, Carr, Riggs & Ingram Partner Robbie Rice what impact this could have.

“A lot of those families who qualify for those credits rely on those tax refunds. So it’s going to hit them, you know you’re talking a 2 to 3 week delay for them getting that money, and it can be several thousand dollars. So it’s a big deal,” Rice said.

Rice says the idea is that the delay will help keep criminals from stealing a person’s identity and money.

“Once it’s gone, they can’t really get it back because again these are people filing fraudulent returns. They can’t track them down and get the money back so it’s gone. It’s costing the taxpayers overall a lot of money. Many millions of dollars are going out for these tax credits, fraudulent cases,” Rice said.

According to H&R Block, about 30 million tax returns will be impacted by this mandate and about half of those are filed early.

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