If you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your 2023 tax return, the IRS must temporarily hold your refund until February 15. The IRS must hold your entire refund, including any part not from the EITC or ACTC.
This delay is the result of a law intended to protect you by making sure that you receive the refund you are owed. It also gives the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud.
Even though the IRS must temporarily hold refunds for filers who claim the EITC or ACTC, the IRS will still issue most refunds in less than 21 days after February 15.
Be careful about payment obligations, given the refund delay. This includes using a Refund Anticipation Loan or other loan and preparer fee agreements in which repayment is dependent on your tax refund. Remember: No one can give you immediate access to your tax refund, either the full amount or an “advance”, before the IRS. Learn more about Refund Anticipation Products on the Tax Preparation Business Tips page.
Be especially aware of any stated repayment dates. Do not risk more costs by agreeing to a repayment schedule that requires full payment before you get your refund.
Learn about Federal tax refunds and check refund status.