The 2022 tax season has been pretty good to Americans so far, at least in terms of getting bigger refunds than last year. That’s likely to change as late filers make a final push to get their returns in by the April 18 deadline.
The average federal income tax refund as of April 8 is $3,226, up from an average of $2,893 at the same point in 2021, according to the Staten Island Live website, which cited IRS data. Over 63 million refunds were distributed by the same date, a slight gain from the previous year.
But at least one source expects the average refund to decline sharply by the end of the 2022 tax season. A March survey by IPX of 1,112 Americans between the ages of 18 and 80 found that respondents only expect an average federal return of $1,915 this year — well below the average so far in 2022 and also down from an average of $2,815 in 2021.
The survey results suggest that taxpayers who wait until the last minute to file their returns expect much smaller refunds than those who filed early. Most refunds are returned within 21 days of filing, though there could be delays this year due to staff shortages and ongoing backlogs. The IRS received about 91.3 million tax returns by April 1, down 2.1% from the same time last year. However, the IRS is ahead of last year’s pace in terms of processing returns.
Different age groups expect to get much different refund amounts. According to the IPX survey, here’s how expected refunds break down by generation:
- Gen Z: $1,237
- Millennials: $2,158
- Gen X: $2,139
- Boomers: $1,275
In terms of how Americans plan to spend their tax refunds, more than one-third (37%) of respondents said they plan to put the money into savings. That was far and away the most popular answer. Other responses included paying off debt (22%), paying everyday expenses (18%), investing (6%), financing vacations (5%), making a major purchase (3%) and putting the money toward home improvements (3%).
If you are expecting a refund and wonder where it is, you can check its status by using the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund?” online tool or through the IRS2Go app. You might see an update 24 hours after the IRS has received your electronic filing or four weeks after sending a paper return, CNBC reported.
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