13 InvestigatesScam Alert


CONTACT 13: Tax returns could be delayed

Posted at 11:00 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-21 17:46:45-05
Tax season is officially here. The IRS is now accepting electronic tax returns. But as Contact 13 reports, you may experience a delay when trying to collect that quick refund.
You may have to wait 2 or 3 more weeks this year.
"That's not a good thing. I don't think that's a good thing. A lot of people rely on those tax refunds," says one taxpayer.
A new law passed by Congress requires the IRS to give extra scrutiny to tax returns claiming the earned income credit and additional child credit.
Taxpayer Frank Thompson doesn't like the idea of waiting longer for his money.
"You work, and you want to get paid on Friday. You pay your taxes, you want to get your refund the first of the year," Thompson says.
The new law is aimed at cutting down on tax fraud. The IRS saw a 400 percent surge in scams in the 2016 tax season alone. Scammers have filed millions of bogus refunds in recent years, hoping to claim your refund before you do. 
Jennifer Jenkins with the IRS says it's so important to file early these days.
"You are increasing your chance that with your delayed filing that they may step in and file using your information," Jenkins says.
No one likes waiting a few extra weeks for money that's rightfully theirs. But some taxpayers agree it's worth it, if it prevents fraud.
"I don't like it, but if it gives me more money, I'm willing to wait," says a taxpayer.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line: If you're worried about any type of delay, then file as soon as possible. If you're hiring a tax preparer, be sure they have a Tax Preparer Identification Number. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund. And never sign a blank tax return.
13 Investigates - Send us a tip
Do you have a story idea or tip for 13 Investigates? Fill out the form below.
Are you willing to go on camera?