2019 Tax Tracker #4: Filings Catch Up and Average Refund Now Up Year Over Year

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Key Points

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

  • As of February 22, the IRS had received 49.9 million tax returns, down 3.5% year over year.
  • A total of 38.6 million refunds had been issued as of that date (down 4.8% year over year), totaling $121.2 billion (down 3.6% year over year) and averaging $3,143 (up $40 or 1.3% year over year).
  • The continuing slow rate of filing 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.

US income tax refund tracker: Filings are catching up after initial slow rate, and average refund amounts are now up year on year

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