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Wal-Mart, Wingstop among companies paying a price for delayed tax refunds

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Wal-Mart says things are going to turn around now that its customers are starting to get tax refunds.

Consumer-facing companies, from restaurants to retailers, are feeling the same pinch that their tax-paying customers are: IRS refund delays are pushing back purchases and saddling 2017 sales with a sluggish start.

A December 2015 law mandates that the IRS can’t issue a refund until Feb. 15 to filers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit. As a result, some have delayed their tax returns, which, companies and analysts say, has postponed the spending that those refunds typically drive in the postholiday period.

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