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

Leada Gore (TNS)

The Internal Revenue Service is reporting the average tax refund – at least so far in the 2022 filing season – is up over last year.

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

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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 the refunds, 43.95 million were issued via direct deposit. The agency said most refunds are issued within 21 days though the IRS has warned there could be substantial delays this year due to backlogged returns and personnel shortages.

To speed up your refund, the IRS recommends:

  1. Filing electronically – It’s not only the most popular, but also the quickest way to get your refund.
  2. Use correct filing status - If taxpayers are unsure about their filing status, the Interactive Tax Assistant on can help them choose the correct status, especially if more than one filing status applies.
  3. Answer the virtual currency question - The 2021 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR ask whether at any time during 2021, a person received, sold, exchanged or otherwise disposed of any financial interest in any virtual currency. Taxpayers should not leave this field blank but should check either “Yes” or “No.” You can see more on that here.
  4. Report all taxable income – Underreporting can lead to penalties and interest.
  5. Don’t forget to include unemployment compensation – While a law allowed people to exclude unemployment compensation from taxes in 2020, that was only for a year. Unemployment compensation received in 2021 is generally taxable, so taxpayers should include it as income on their tax return.
  6. Double-check name, birth date and Social Security number entries.
  7. Double check routing and account numbers.
  8. Mail paper returns to the right address – If you must file via paper,  confirm the correct address for where to file on or on form instructions to avoid processing delays.
  9. Sign and date the return – Seems simple but many people forget this easy step.
  10. Keep a copy - When ready to file, taxpayers should make a copy of their signed return and all schedules for their records.
  11. Request an extension, if needed - Taxpayers who cannot meet the April 18 deadline can request a six-month filing extension to Oct. 17 and prevent late filing penalties. And while that will delay your return, the deadline for paying remains the same.