PATH Act May Affect When You Get Your Tax Return In 2017


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – You might have to wait a little longer than usual in 2017 to get your tax refund.

Due to the passage of a federal law called the PATH Act in 2015, the IRS will take awhile longer to make sure the returns of millions’ of Americans are accurate.

Gary Garwitz, a CPA with BKD in Springfield, said tax fraud has been a major problem the last few years.

He has had clients who have had to jump through extra hoops because thieves grabbed money they were supposed to get back from Uncle Sam.

“There are a lot of people that don’t file their return until say April 15, because maybe they don’t get some of their information quickly,” Garwitz said. “And we went and filed their returns electronically and learned someone else had already filed their return.”

Garwitz said in some of these cases, fraudsters had names and social security numbers for both spouses.

“What they do is they attach a fake W-2 and so they make sure the W-2 is say $50,000, but the withholding is substantially more than would be required on $50,000, so they generate a refund claim,” Garwitz said.

In 2017, employers have to have W-2 forms and 1099’s done by Jan. 31.

The IRS will start accepting your return Jan. 23.

The big change under the PATH Act comes if someone receives the earned income tax credit or the child tax credit.

The IRS will wait until Feb. 15 at the earliest to dole out refunds for those taxpayers.

“Before you get your refund claim, the IRS will match up your W-2 on your return with your W-2 that your employer filed, so electronically they will confirm that that W-2 is accurate,” Garwitz said.

The path act is 225 pages, but for the millions of Americans who receive those popular credits, it is the part they will want to be aware of.

The PATH Act eliminates and makes permanent several tax credits congress had been extending annually or every couple years.

Click here to read about more provisions of the PATH Act.

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