Some refunds will be delayed for individual returns that include certain credits; some states are also delaying refunds.
Federal refunds for individual returns whose refunds include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) will be delayed until mid-February, at the earliest. Taxpayers should submit these and all other returns as usual, as most refunds will still be issued within the normal stated time frame of 21 days or less (after IRS acceptance). As the IRS stated: "Under the change required by Congress in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, the IRS must hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC — until at least Feb. 15. This change helps ensure that taxpayers get the refund they are owed by giving the agency more time to help detect and prevent fraud."
See IR-2016-117, IR-2016-143, or IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2016-16, November 1, 2016 for more information.
Some states are also delaying the issuing of refunds for taxpayers. Read the article Security Means Slower State Refunds on Taxing Subjects for information on state-specific delays.