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IRS data: The average tax refund is almost 29% lower this tax season

woman checking her mailbox

The IRS reports a significant decrease in average tax refunds this season, around 29% lower compared to last year. As of February 2nd, over 2.6 million refunds have been issued, totaling $3.65 billion. However, these statistics are based on only five days of data for the 2024 tax season, unlike 12 days in 2023. Tax experts caution against overanalyzing this early data, emphasizing its preliminary nature. Despite this decrease, larger refunds might still be expected due to inflation adjustments. Taxpayers are advised not to wait for pending legislation but to file promptly.


A lot of people who typically file early — such as earned income tax recipients and child tax credit recipients — still haven’t filed, Mark Steber, chief tax information officer at Jackson Hewitt said.

By law, filers claiming the refundable portion of the child tax credit or earned income tax credit won’t get refunds until Feb. 27 at the earliest, the IRS says.


Nonetheless, nearly half of taxpayers plan to delay filing until March or later, citing complexity and stress as primary reasons.


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