2019 Tax Tracker #3: Tax Filings Continue to Narrow the Gap with Last Year

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Key Points

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

  • As of February 15, the IRS had received 39.7 million tax returns, down 4.8% year over year.
  • A total of 23.5 million refunds had been issued as of that date (down 26.5% year over year), totaling $62.0 billion (down 38.8% year over year) and averaging $2,640 (down $529 or 16.7% 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 US economy, higher wages and employment rates, total refunds are likely to be higher in 2019, now that the disruption from the government shutdown has been resolved.

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tracks tax return filings on a weekly basis. As of February 15, the IRS had received 39.7 million tax returns, down 4.8% year over year. A total of 23.5 million refunds had been issued as of that date (down 26.5% year over year), totaling $62.0 billion (down 38.8% year over year) and averaging $2,640 (down $529 or 16.7% year over year).

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