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Tax Return Filing Season Launches January 23 and Some Refunds May be Delayed

January 12, 2017

Karen L. Cosgrove, CPA

The IRS has announced that the individual income tax filing season opens on January 23, 2017. The IRS also stated that the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) may impact certain refunds in 2017.

Filing Season Launch

The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns and processing paper returns on January 23, 2017.

Unlike past years, the IRS did not have to deal with late tax legislation in 2016. Typically, the IRS needed extra time to reprogram its processing systems for late tax legislation and that can move the start of the filing season to later in January.

The deadline for filing 2016 returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The deadline is three days later in 2017 because April 15, 2017 falls on a Saturday. Additionally, Monday, April 17, 2017 is a holiday in the District of Columbia. That holiday moves the deadline to April 18, 2017.


The PATH Act generally requires that no credit or refund for an overpayment for a tax year will be made to a taxpayer before the 15th day of the second month following the close of that tax year, if the taxpayer claimed the earned income tax credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on the return. The provision in the PATH Act applies to credits or refunds made after December 31, 2016.

The IRS explained that it must hold the entire refund, even the portion not associated with the EITC and the ACTC. The IRS reported that it will begin releasing affected refunds starting February 15, 2017. However, the IRS reminded taxpayers that it may take additional time for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds to taxpayers’ accounts. The IRS added that taxpayers can track the status of a refund by using the Where’s My Refund? tool on the IRS website and also the IRS2Go app.

ITIN Renewal

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the IRS. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who have a filing or reporting requirement and need a taxpayer identification number, but who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN).

Under the PATH Act, any ITIN not used on a tax return at least once in the past three years expires January 1, 2017. In addition, any ITIN with middle digits of either 78 or 79 (9NN-78-NNNN or 9NN-79-NNNN) will also expire on that date. The IRS encouraged affected taxpayers to renew their ITINs.

If you have any questions about the start of the filing season, refunds or ITINs, please contact our office.

View Karen's Bio Here>>

How BlumShapiro Can Help

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Disclaimer: Any written tax content, comments, or advice contained in this article is limited to the matters specifically set forth herein. Such content, comments, or advice may be based on tax statues, regulations, and administrative and judicial interpretations thereof and we have no obligation to update any content, comments or advice for retroactive or prospective changes to such authorities. This communication is not intended to address the potential application of penalties and interest, for which the taxpayer is responsible, that may be imposed for non-compliance with tax law.


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