Let’s find a tax preparation office for you


Information regarding browser or device support

Oh no! We may not fully support the browser or device software you are using!

To experience our site in the best way possible, please update your browser or device software, or move over to another browser.

Family Tax Topics

What is the PATH Act and How Does It Affect Your Tax Return?

Ever wonder why your refund might arrive a little later than you thought it would? This usually happens because of something called the PATH Act, which was passed in 2015 to help protect taxpayers against tax-related fraud.

What is the PATH Act?

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) was passed December 18, 2015, and included measures to protect Americans against identity theft and tax fraud.


Why is my refund delayed?

Every year, millions of Americans wonder where their tax refund is and why it hasn’t yet arrived. Under the PATH Act, all tax refunds that include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), must be held until after February 14 of the tax processing year.  

How will the PATH Act affect me in 2019?

Tax reform didn’t make any changes to the PATH Act laws, so refunds with EITC and the Additional Child Tax Credit will not be released until after February 14, and employers must send W-2s to the IRS by January 31. The delay in refund and early submissions of W-2s allow the IRS more time to verify income, withholding, and credit eligibility in an attempt to reduce tax fraud and tax ID theft.


The IRS releases all pending refunds February 15 and later, so you should see your refund in your account, or in the mail, by the end of February.  If you still don’t have your refund four to six weeks after February 15, or your filing date, whichever is later, go to the IRS page titled: Where’s My Refund?





A full summary of the PATH Act and all its provisions can be read here.

Related Articles

Child Tax Credits

Child Tax Credits

As a parent, you might be eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

View MoreView more
Claiming Children and Dependents on Taxes

Claiming Children and Dependents on Taxes

Here’s what parents need to know about claiming kids and other dependents on their tax return.

View MoreView more
How Fast Will You Get Your Tax Refund this Year?

How Fast Will You Get Your Tax Refund this Year?

When it comes to taxes, one of the most important questions we are often asked at Jackson Hewitt is, “Will I get a tax refund?” When the answer turns out to be “YES!,” this good news leads almost immediately to clients asking, “How fast can I get my refund?”   For millions of Americans, your tax refund feels like the biggest paycheck you’ll receive all year so filing your taxes is your most important financial transaction.1

View MoreView more

Why Jackson Hewitt®?

We’ll work hard for you

Our Tax Pros will answer your questions, provide tax tips, and help you get smarter about your money.

We know our stuff

Jackson Hewitt is a leader in the tax industry, having prepared millions of tax returns in more than 35 years.

We’ll make it easy

We’re committed to helping you, fast and efficiently. Taxes done how you want and when you want.