Average refund up nearly 10% compared to last year, say officials

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being credited as one of the reasons behind a substantial uptick the average amount of consumers tax refunds, according to Vice President Joe Biden Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.

Led by the Recovery Act’s tax benefits that total nearly $300 billion in savings, early data from the IRS has found the average income tax refund is more than $3,000, up more than $260 – or by 9.6 percent – over last year’s return.

“The average tax refund has reached $3,036 this year, a $266 increase from a year ago,” said Shulman. “The Recovery Act is a major factor behind these larger, record refunds. About half of all Americans haven’t filed their taxes yet, so we urge them to look carefully at these Recovery provisions.”

While the returns have been larger than in previous years, the IRS data also showed that fewer than half of the overall expected returns have been filed, leading the politicians to urge those who have not yet filed their taxes to do so as soon as possible and attempt to reap as many tax benefits available to them under the Recovery Act as possible.

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