IRS: $9.5 billion in refunds issued so far, with an average payment of $2,201

IRS: $9.5 billion in refunds issued so far, with an average payment of $2,201

February 14, 2022

The IRS released stats Friday that give taxpayers a glimpse into the start of the season.

So far, the average tax refund was $2,201 as of Feb. 4 — about two weeks after the Jan. 24 kickoff when the Internal Revenue Service began accepting returns.

A total of $9.53 billion has been issued in refund cash with a bit more than 4.3 million returns generating federal income tax refunds.

Nearly 16.7 million returns were received through Feb. 4 and nearly 13 million individual income tax returns have been processed, according to IRS statistics.

What's important to note is that the IRS is dealing with a burdensome backlog of 2020 returns that remained unprocessed from last year and needed to move forward.

The IRS stats, for example, listed about 4.46 million refunds issued via direct deposit. The average is $2,306. But the IRS footnotes indicate that the category includes direct deposit refunds for returns received in the prior year or the current year but processed in 2022 requesting a direct deposit.

How do the early stats compare with last year?

The IRS had a delayed start to the tax season last year and did not begin processing tax returns until Feb. 12, 2021. No year-to-year comparisons exist at this point.

Not everyone who filed early is going to be seeing a quick refund.

The IRS, by law, cannot issue refunds that include a claim for the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before Feb. 15. Congress gave the IRS additional time to help the IRS stop the growth of fraudulent returns that tried to wrongly cash in on big refunds generated by these credits. The law was enacted in 2015.

People who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit can expect to see tax refunds in bank accounts or their debit cards by the first week of March, according to IRS alerts.

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Trend lines can be hard to track given that all tax seasons aren't the same.

The IRS noted: "For historical perspective, it’s important to remember these weekly numbers can shift dramatically during the initial weeks of filing season due to numerous factors, including the calendar and filing patterns that can change year to year."

Contact Susan Tompor: [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @tompor. To subscribe, please go to freep.com/specialoffer. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Tax refunds: Average check is $2,201; $9.5 billion total issued so far

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