2016 Earned Income Tax Credit Refund Check

By | December 11, 2016

The IRS will begin to release EITC/ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15. However, the IRS cautions taxpayers that these refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or debit cards until the week of February 27.


Refund Timing for Earned Income Tax Credit

Be careful not to count on getting an EITC refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying other financial obligations. You don’t need to wait until Feb. 15 to file your tax return. While the IRS must hold the refund until Feb. 15, it will begin taking the steps it normally does to process your tax return once the filing season starts.

When will EITC Refund arrive in bank account?

The IRS will begin to release EITC/ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15. However, the IRS cautions taxpayers that these refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or debit cards until the week of February 27 — if there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit. This additional period is due to several factors, including banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits.


Check Status of 2016 EITC Refund

Check Where’s My Refund on IRS.gov or the IRS mobile app, IRS2Go, after February 15 for your personalized refund status. Taxpayers will not see a refund date on Where’s My Refund ‎or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates, so taxpayers should not contact or call them about refunds before the end of February.

It takes additional time for refunds to be processed after leaving the IRS, and for financial institutions to accept and deposit them to bank accounts and products like debit cards. Also many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers. For EITC and ACTC filers, the three-day holiday weekend involving President’s Day affects their refund timing.


Additional Child Tax Credit Refund

In addition to the earned income tax credit, the refunds will be delayed for the additional child tax credit refunds as well. This applies to the entire refund, even the portion not associated with these credits.


IRS Tax Refund Security Measures

To better protect taxpayers, the IRS recently upgraded its identity verification process for certain online self-help tools. The purpose is to prevent taxpayer impersonations and account takeovers by identity thieves. All IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers will offer appointment service by December 2016. If you believe your tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone, always check IRS.gov for days and hours of service as well as services offered at the IRS TAC location you plan to visit. For most services you must call to make an appointment.

Remember, while the IRS will begin to issue EITC/ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15, you should not count on actually seeing your refund until the week of Feb. 27 — if you chose direct deposit or a debit card and there are no processing issues with your tax return. Your refund should only be deposited directly into accounts that are in your own name, your spouse’s name or both, if it’s a joint account. These are some of the reasons a financial institution may reject a direct deposit, resulting in a paper check. Also, no more than three electronic refunds can be directly deposited into a single financial account or pre-paid debit card. Taxpayers who exceed the limit will receive an IRS notice and a paper refund.


Will calling the IRS help me get my refund any faster?

Calling the IRS will not speed up your refund.  Phone and walk-in representatives can only research the status of your refund if it has been 21 days or more since you filed electronically, more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return, or Where’s My Refund? directs you to contact us. If we need more information to process your tax return, we will contact you by mail. Otherwise Where’s My Refund? has the most up to date information available about your refund. Use the IRS2Gomobile app or use the Where’s My Refund? tool. Both are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.