The average refund this year is now $3,226, up from $3,199 for last year’s comparable period. However, the number of refunds and the amount of dollars refunded remained down from 2018, although significantly improved and all other statistics improved and this has been the pattern of the last few years.
Money refunded in 2019 reached $120.7 billion, off 2.9 percent from $117.2 billion a year earlier. That is substantially improved from the prior weekly report in which the amount paid out the amount was off $39 billion from the prior year. This may reflect issuance of Earned Income Credit and education refunds, which by law cannot go out until after February 15.
The 36,329,000 refunds issued through February 22 are down 3.7 percent from a year earlier. But that is up from 23,485,000 returns issued through February 15, an almost 13 million increase.
There were 49,923,000 returns received by the IRS through February 22, down 3.5 percent from the prior year—a week earlier the level was off 3.8 percent from the February 15 report.
Efile receipts hit 47,866,000, a decline of 2.7 percent, down from 49,192,000. Email receipts from tax professionals for the season through February were 21,869,000, down 6.7 percent from 23,438,000. There were 25,997,000 self-prepared returns submitted, an increase of .9 percent from 25,754,000.