Taxpayers who file early and who are financially dependent on a refund, such as low-income taxpayers receiving refundable credits, could be hurt. For example, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate, delayed refunds would have a detrimental effect on low-income taxpayers who use their tax refunds to pay winter utility bills.
According to the GAO analysis, the changes would also result in a permanent shift in the annual cycle of refunds on which some taxpayers depend. Once the change is made, the time interval between annual refunds will be the same length as it is now; however given the billions in dollars of successful IDT refund fraud, IRS must strive to stay one or more steps ahead of identity thieves, or the risk of issuing fraudulent IDT refunds could grow. Staying ahead of identity thieves will require a significant resource investment from IRS as it strengthens and develops new tools, the GAO stated.
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