Electronic tax

Here’s the average tax refund amount so far, according to the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service reports that the average tax refund — at least so far in the 2022 filing season — is up from last year.

Data from March 11 shows the IRS processed 61.9 million returns and issued 45.3 million refunds worth about $151.93 billion. The average refund so far this year was $3,351, up 13%, or $385, from last year’s average of $2,967.

The average amount will likely change in the coming weeks, the IRS noted, as the April 18 tax deadline approaches.

Most tax returns – some 61.6 million – were filed electronically. Of all refunds, 43.95 million were issued by direct deposit. The agency said most refunds are issued within 21 days, although the IRS has warned there could be significant delays this year due to pending returns and staffing shortages.

To speed up your refund, the IRS recommends:

  • Electronic Filing – This is not only the most popular, but also the fastest way to get your refund.
  • Use Correct Filing Status – If taxpayers are unsure of their filing status, the Interactive Tax Assistant to IRS.gov can help them choose the right status, especially if multiple filing statuses apply.
  • Answer the Virtual Currency Question – The 2021 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR ask if at any time in 2021 a person received, sold, traded, or otherwise transferred a financial interest in virtual currency. Taxpayers should not leave this field blank but should check “Yes” or “No”. You can see more here.
  • Report all taxable income – Under-reporting can result in penalties and interest.
  • Don’t forget to include unemployment compensation – While a law allowed people to exclude unemployment compensation from taxes in 2020, it was only for one year. Unemployment compensation received in 2021 is generally taxable, so taxpayers must include it as income on their tax return.
  • Check the name, date of birth, and social security number entries.
  • Check routing and account numbers.
  • Paper mail returns to the correct address – If you need to file on paper, confirm the correct address for where to drop off to IRS.gov or on form instructions to avoid processing delays.
  • Sign and date the return – It sounds simple, but many people forget about this easy step.
  • Keep a copy – When ready to file, taxpayers should make a copy of their signed return and all schedules for their records.
  • Request an extension, if needed – Taxpayers who cannot meet the April 18 deadline can request a six-month extension to October 17 and avoid late filing penalties. And although this delays your return, the payment deadline remains the same.