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PATH Act - Creating refund delays

What is the PATH Act?

Enacted on December 18, 2015, the PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015) is federal legislation that prohibits the IRS from releasing refunds for taxpayers claiming Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before February 15.

According to the IRS website the law was enacted to help prevent identity theft, and the entire refund held until at least February 15th. 


What's the Impact?

This legislation will create funding delays of up to six weeks or more for an estimated 30M taxpayers filing at the beginning of the tax season. As much as $100B+ in federal tax refunds may be delayed.

On December 9, 2016 the IRS announced that "...many affected taxpayers may not have actual access to their refunds until the week of Feb. 27."


Will my refund be delayed?

The PATH Act refund delays only impacts taxpayers that are claiming Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) prior to February 15th. Visit the IRS website for more details about PATH Act refund delays.


What help is there for me?

We offer taxpayers two great solutions to the challenge created by PATH Act refund delays. 


Hang onto more cash with the Refund Transfer1

Can’t pay your tax preparation fees up-front? Have your return prepared and pay nothing up-front. Tax preparation fees are paid from your refund once the IRS releases your refund. Free up cash to pay bills and buy things you need. Learn More


Get cash weeks before your refund is available with Fast Cash Advance2

Receive up to $7,000 with a tax time cash advance.  Advances are approved within hours of IRS acceptance of your tax return. Can't wait 6 weeks for your refund? Find a participating tax professional that offers the Fast Cash Advance. Learn More



1 Refund Transfers are deposit products using Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC, that enable certain deductions from the account to be processed. Refund Transfers are not loans. Tax refund and e-filing are required in order to receive Refund Transfer. Fees apply. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Ask your preparer about other IRS e-file options, some of which are provided at no additional cost.

 2 Fast Cash Advance is an optional tax-refund related loan provided by First Century Bank, N.A., member FDIC (it is not the actual tax refund) and is available at participating locations. The amount of the loan and applicable interest will be deducted from tax refunds and reduce the amount that is paid directly to the taxpayer from the refund. Fees for other optional products or product features may apply, and will be disclosed at the time of application. Tax returns may be filed electronically without applying for this loan. Loans are offered in amounts from $500-$7,000 and are offered both pre–IRS acknowledgment of the tax return and post-IRS acknowledgment of the tax return. All loans have an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 39.95%. For example, for a loan of $2,000 with a repayment period of 30 days, the total amount payable in a single payment is $2,065.67 including principal and interest. Loans subject to the Military Lending Act have a lower rate. Not all consumers will qualify for a loan or for the maximum loan amount. Offer and terms subject to change at any time without prior notice.

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