This year’s average refund of $2,957 was down by three dollars from the similar period in 2018 and since the improvement in the prior report was four dollars, there has been no meaningful change.
The pace also flattened for returns received after closing the gap over the 2018 season. There were 75,881,000 returns received for the season to date, down 2.5 percent from 77,795,000 for the comparable period in 2018. That was the same percentage change for the report issued March 8.
The total number of efiled returns received through March 15, 71,815,000, was off by 1.3 percent from 72,732,000 in last year’s corresponding period. That was also slightly improved from the minus 1.5 percent change from the prior report.
Efiles submitted by paid preparers improved slightly from the March 18 report. Tax professionals were responsible for 36,868,000 efiles, a decline of 3.6 percent from 38,245,000 a year ago That was better than the 4.6-percent gap in the prior report. There were 34,947,000 self-prepared e-files for the season reported to date, an increase of 1.3 percent from 34,487,000. The March 8 report had self-prepared efiles up 1.6 percent.