March 15, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Frenzy of tax filing for tax refunds. People are filing their taxes at a blistering pace so far this year, underscoring how serious Americans are about getting any tax refund due or any stimulus check money they missed last year. The IRS began accepting and processing 2020 tax returns slightly later than usual because its systems needed a breather after distributing a second round of stimulus checks in late December. However, there is some bad news, that many Americans should be prepared for when they finally get their refunds: the average refund so far is $2880, significantly less than the $3125 average refund at roughly the same calendar date last year. The decrease follows a year when unemployment skyrocketed due to COVID-19 related restrictions on businesses and shelter in place orders. Frenzy of tax filing for tax refunds.

New IRS statistics released show people are submitting their individuals tax returns at a much faster rate than they were early in last year's tax season. As of February 19th, only eight full days into the 2021 filing season, the IRS had received 34.69 million individual returns, agency statistics show. That's 30.5% fewer returns than the 49.8 million received by February 21st last year--but that was 28 days into the 2020 filing season and weeks before confirmation that the coronavirus had taken hold in the US. Simple math suggests that the volume of individual returns is up this year. Simple math suggests the volume of individual returns is up this year. When dividing the nearly 34.7 million returns so far this year by eight filing days, the result is 4.3 million returns filed per day. The 49.8 million returns filed last year, divided by 26 filing days, comes to 1.91 million returns per day. Frenzy of tax filing for tax refunds.

Put another way, the IRS has received approximately 21% more individual returns than the agency received last year by February 7th, which was 12 days into the 2019 tax return filing season.  Right now Americans are facing an April 15th tax filing deadline, and the IRS has not indicated they are changing that date.

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