Some Rhode Island Taxpayers Refunds to be Delayed

Federal Refunds Delayed to Feb. 15 for Rhode Island Taxpayers Claiming Two Key Tax
Credits; Plan Ahead, IRS Says
RI-2016-001, Nov. 17, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today reminded Rhode Island taxpayers who
claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) to
plan on a refund delay until Feb.15.

A recent federal law change aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and
prevent refund fraud, requires the IRS to hold the refund of any tax return claiming
either the EITC or ACTC until Feb. 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund
not just the portion related to these credits.
«I want to remind folks that as we move into the holiday season, some refunds will
be delayed next year so they should plan ahead,» said IRS spokesperson Matt Leas.
«To avoid any further delays, it’s important that taxpayers file as they normally
would and not wait until later in the filing season.»
As of June 2016, 82,000 working individuals and families in Rhode Island received
$190 million in EITC alone, putting an average of $2,305 into the pockets of
low-income working individuals and families. Similarly, 50,000 working individuals
and families in the state received a total of $60.21 million in ACTC, an average of
$1,204 per individuals and families. The IRS emphasizes that these are full-year
totals for both of these credits and that only those claims filed before February 15
will be affected by the new law.
To avoid any further delays on their refunds, the IRS asks Rhode Island taxpayers to
file their returns as they normally do, not wait to file later in the season.
Whether or not claiming the EITC or ACTC, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to count on
getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying
other financial obligations. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less
than 21 days, some returns however, are held for further review.
Because the entire tax refund and not only the credit portion will be held until
February 15, the IRS encourages taxpayers to file a complete and accurate return
the first time which will likely result in a faster refund. Amended returns take up
to 16 weeks to process.
The IRS also encourages taxpayers to consider a tax-withholding checkup. By
adjusting Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding
Allowance Certificate, taxpayers can ensure the right amount is taken out of their
pay so that they will not have to pay too much tax or wait until they file their
return to get a refund. Taxpayers should submit the revised form to employers, and
employers will use the form to figure the amount of federal income tax to be
withheld from pay. For help, use the Withholding
Calculator on IRS.gov.

The IRS has a special
page on IRS.gov with
steps to take now for the 2017 tax filing season.