Tax Refunds are 13% Smaller Compared to This Time Last Year

(Yahoo!Finance) - Tax refunds remain markedly smaller than the same time a year ago, according to the latest data from the Internal Revenue Service.

Not only are tax refunds 13% smaller than this time last year but also the number of taxpayers filing returns has decreased.

The average refund amount was $1,741 as of Feb. 9, down from $1,997 in the same period last year, the IRS reported. That’s based on nearly 7.4 million refunds the agency has distributed so far versus nearly 13.3 million refunds disbursed this time last year, a 43% decrease.

However, the 13% decrease in tax refunds is an improvement on the first round of tax refunds processed this tax season, which were 29% smaller than last year, based on the weekly filing statistics.

Smaller refunds or the prospect of owing money to the IRS may cause some taxpayers to delay filing early.

The average amount likely will change as more returns are processed. If you’re not sure when you will receive your tax refund, check out our tax refund calendar.

Refunds that include the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the additional child tax credit (ACTC) are delayed by law until mid-February. The IRS estimates most EITC filers will see their refunds by Feb. 27 if there are no issues with their returns and if they chose direct deposit.

The number of taxpayers impacted by storms and other natural disasters may add to the low numbers of returns received and processed.

Taxpayers in a Federal Emergency Management Agency-declared disaster relief zone are eligible for the extended deadline. To date, the IRS has extended the filing deadline to June 17 for taxpayers in ConnecticutRhode IslandMaineWest Virginia, and Michigan affected by storms, tornadoes, and flooding.

By Ronda Lee

Ronda Lee is a personal finance senior reporter for Yahoo Finance and attorney with experience in law, insurance, education, and government.


More Articles