The Average Tax Refund Is Down More Than 20% Over Last Year

The tax agency has processed some 25.4 million returns out of the 25.5 million received since the official start of tax season on Jan. 29. Both figures reflect a decline – 4.4% and 11.4%, respectively – from last year when the official start to IRS processing was a week earlier.

“Because the 2023 filing season began on Jan. 23, the IRS had been receiving returns for 19 days by Feb. 10, 2023; compared to only 12 days for the 2024 filing season, which opened on Jan. 29. Considering the loss of 7 days in this comparison, filing season statistics below show a strong start to filing season 2024, with all systems running well,” the IRS said in a statement.

The latest statistics show the number of refunds is down some 44% over last year from 13.4 million to 7.5 million while the total amount refunded fell by more than 50 percent – from $26.6 billion to $13 billion.
The average refund amount is down, too.
In 2023, the average refund was $1,997. This year, that’s down almost 13% to $1,741.
The average refund will likely increase in the coming weeks as payments are sent to those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, or Additional Child Tax Credit, or ACTC. By law, people claiming those credits will not receive refunds sooner than Feb. 27, assuming they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their returns. The mandatory delay is due to federal law requiring extra identity checks for EITC or ACTC filers.
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