The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a new law requiring a refund delay until Feb. 15 for filers receiving earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit. Affected tax payers may not have access to their refunds until the week of Feb. 27.
There are no exceptions to this law, which is designed to give the IRS more time to help detect and prevent fraud.
 This delay applies to all methods of tax filing – VITA sites, commercial tax preparers and self-preparation. There are no exceptions.
Consumers need to beware of offers for loans against delayed refunds. Those who meet income guidelines, are able to file for free at your local volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) program or by using the IRS free file program on its Web site.
Those filing taxes are encouraged not to change the way they file their tax return but to  file their taxes as they normally would.  
Once taxes have been filed, one can check the status of their federal tax refund through the IRS “Where’s My Refund” tool at www.irs.gov.
Minnesota refund status can be checked through the Minnesota Department of Revenue Web site www.revenue.state.mn.us
Those who are interested can schedule a tax appointment through United Community Action Partnership beginning  Jan. 16 by calling (507) 537-1416.