The tax season began on January 24 and, according to the Internal Revenue Service, more than 22 million tax refunds totaling over $78 billion have been distributed so far.
As of Feb. 18, the average refund was $3,536, which was more than $700 higher than the average payout of $2,815 received the previous year, according to data collected through Dec. 3. The average, on the other hand, may alter as millions of Americans submit their federal income tax forms.
Some tax experts predict that families who received the advance child tax credit, borrowers who paused student loan payments, and investors who received significant mutual fund payouts will receive smaller refunds.
The new filing season numbers come at a difficult time for the Internal Revenue Service, which is still dealing with millions of unprocessed individual tax returns from the previous tax season.
While the IRS generally issues refunds within 21 days, a variety of factors, including paper-filed returns, payments made by mail, errors, and returns that have been the victim of identity theft, can cause delays.
Commissioner Chuck Rettig of the Internal Revenue Service issued a statement saying, “We encourage further attention to those who received an economic impact payment or an advanced child tax credit last year.”
“People should double-check their tax returns to ensure that they are reporting the correct amount to avoid delays.”
From January 1 to July 15, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service issued approximately 7.4 million “math error” notices for stimulus payment mistakes, delaying refunds, and many people are still waiting for a resolution.
Check the status of your refund request.
While the IRS was required by law to hold off on issuing refunds for earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit until the middle of February, the agency estimates that those payments will reach filers by March 1.
You can check on the status of your return using the “Where’s My Refund?” internet service or the IRS2Go mobile application. The IRS may provide you with an update within 24 hours of receiving your electronic filing, and you may see an update four weeks after mailing a paper return.