In case you have not heard yet, millions of tax refunds totaling BILLIONS of Dollars are going to be delayed in 2017.  It is neither your fault nor your tax preparers fault, blame identity thieves.

The Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act) was passed by Congress on December 18, 2015.  Of the many provisions within it were steps to curb the theft of federal tax refund dollars.

Change #1:  Companies must submit W-2 Forms to the IRS by January 31st instead of February 28th.

Change #2:  The IRS is not allowed to process certain tax returns until at least February 15th instead of the traditional timing of mid-January when the IRS officially opens for the year.

These changes add an extra layer of protection for you.  Now the IRS can cross reference the tax return that you file and compare it to the W-2 Forms submitted by your employers.  If they see an inconsistency, they have reason to further delay the refund to prevent fraud.

This action was long overdue.  Why should you have to wait over 1 YEAR for your tax refund, just because a criminal filed an incorrect return in your name before you filed?  After a year or 2, we will all be accustomed to the new schedule, and it will be no big deal.

Will your tax refund be delayed?  If your tax return contains a claim for the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit, the answer is yes.  These credits are found on as many as 95% of tax returns filed in January and early February, so the odds are you will be affected.  Instead of getting paid the last week of January, your tax refund should be expected the last week of February or the first few weeks of March.

No all news is bad though.  Many tax companies are offering a Tax Refund Advance where you could get $1,200 or more of your refund in mid January.  The remainder will still come 4-7 weeks later, but some fast money is available when you have your W-2 Forms.

Most tax refund advance products require your W-2 Forms and can not be applied for until the IRS begins accepting tax returns.  Tax professionals are estimating that start date to be in the January 17th to 20th range.

Nearly all car dealerships that are part of the Drive Now Network have access to the $1,200 Tax Refund Advance.  Lenders are hoping to approve applicants within 1 to 4 hours, starting when the IRS opens.  This is just one of the ways our dealerships can say Bring Your W-2, Drive Home Today!