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2019 Tax Tracker Week 11: Total Filings Turn Positive but Refunds Down Just Three Days Before Filing Deadline

Executive Summary

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

  • As of April 12, the IRS had received 119.4 million tax returns, up 0.7% year over year.
  • A total of 84.4 million refunds had been issued as of that date (down 1.9% year over year), totaling $236.0 billion (down 3.1% year over year) and averaging $2,795 (down $36 or 1.3% year over year), implying a mismatch between withholding and the updated tax rates.
  • The top three expected uses for refunds were savings (50% of respondents expecting refunds said they would save the money), paying down debt (34%) and everyday expenses (22%), according to a recent Tax Returns Survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

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