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Insight Report

2019 Tax Tracker #2: Year-over-Year Decline in Tax Filings Starts to Moderate

Coresight Research

Key Points

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tracks tax return filings on a weekly basis.

  • As of February 8, the IRS had received 28.8 million tax returns, down 6.9% year over year. 
  • A total of 11.4 million refunds had been issued as of that date (down 15.8% year over year), totaling $22.2 billion (down 23.2% year over year) and averaging $1,949 (down 8.7% year over year).
  • The drop is in returns filed is likely due to confusion from tax law changes, combined with reduced availability of IRS agents due to the government shutdown. Given a solid U.S. economy, higher wages and employment rates, total refunds are likely to be higher in 2019, once the disruption from the government shutdown is resolved.

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