The IRS reports that the size of the average refund is almost 10% bigger this tax season compared with last year. The average refund, through March 12, is $3,036, up from $2,770 at the same time last year. The IRS says this increase is due to various new credits and deductions enacted in the past year.
Overall, both the number of returns received from individual taxpayers and total returns processed are down this year compared with 2009. Through March 12, returns submitted are down 2.9% compared with returns through March 13, 2009. The number of returns processed is down 4.9%.
E-filing has remained essentially flat this year (a 0.2% increase), and the small increase is due entirely to a 6.9% increase in taxpayers e-filing their own returns. E-filing by paid preparers is down 3.4% this season. Nearly 82% of individual returns filed this tax season have been e-filed.
2009 Economic Recovery Payment Lookup
The IRS’ online lookup tool, “Did I Receive a 2009 Economic Recovery Payment?” is now up and running on the IRS Web site. As reported earlier by the Journal of Accountancy, this service allows taxpayers to confirm whether they received an economic recovery payment in 2009. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided for $250 stimulus payments to most U.S. residents receiving Social Security benefits, supplemental security income, railroad retirement benefits or veterans’ pensions or disability compensation, in lieu of the making work pay credit.