Will 2018 Income Tax Refunds Be Delayed Again? EITC and ACTC Credits

In 2017, many Americans who were waiting on their income tax refunds had to wait a few extra weeks. For some, the wait was even longer. The reason? The IRS was implementing new processing rules to help verify certain types of tax credits and to help decrease fraud related to those credits.

Most delayed refunds were for those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC), the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) or the American Opportunity Credit (AOC). Starting in 2017, the IRS mandated that it would not start issuing refunds to those taxpayers until after February 15. So will the IRS do this again for 2018?

Yes, there will be a delay in processing, but it is still a good idea to file as soon as you have the forms necessary (W-2, childcare, education, mortgage, interest, etc). Taxpayers with simpler situations usually receive their tax documents earlier, often before February 1.

Taxpayers can start efiling their returns as soon as January 12, 2018 for taxes overpaid (refunds) in tax year 2017, using either an income tax preparer or through do-it-yourself tax programs. Filing early can greatly speed up the refund process, even if there is a delay in issuing refunds for those with the EITC or ACTC.

2018 Income Tax Refund Schedule

IRS Accepts
Return Between
    IRS Issues Direct
    Deposit or Check
Jan 12 Jan 21 Feb 2
Jan 19 Jan 28 Feb 9
Jan 26 Feb 4 Feb 16
Feb 2 Feb 11 Feb 23
Feb 9 Feb 18 Mar 2
Feb 16 Feb 25 Mar 9
Feb 23 Mar 4 Mar 16
Mar 2 Mar 11 Mar 23
Mar 9 Mar 18 Mar 30
Mar 16 Mar 25 Apr 6
Mar 23 Apr 1 Apr 13
Mar 30 Apr 8 Apr 20
Apr 6 Apr 15 Apr 27
Apr 13 Apr 22 May 4
Apr 20 Apr 29 May 11
Apr 27 May 6 May 18
May 4 May 13 May 25
May 11 May 20 Jun 1