Pennsylvania among top third of states in taxpayer accuracy |
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Jeff Himler

A little under 6 percent of Pennsylvania taxpayers are spot-on when it comes to figuring their federal income tax. That is, when they file their returns with the IRS, they’re neither due a refund nor required to submit a payment.

That’s not a very big percentage, but it’s enough to place Pennsylvania among the top third of states when ranked according to the accuracy of its taxpayers — in a study released this month by SmartAsset, a company that provides online advice on personal finances.

Based on 2016 IRS data, the study found that Pennsylvania ranked 13th for taxpayer accuracy among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Of nearly 6.2 million federal tax returns filed in the state, 78 percent included an over-payment that required a refund while, in just under 16 percent of the returns, the IRS was owed money. The zero-balance sweet spot occurred in 5.93 percent of returns.

Many people look forward to — or event count on — receiving a tax refund from the IRS. The odds are in their favor, as the study found that an average of 75 percent of American taxpayers have too much of their earnings withheld for the IRS. About 19 percent underpay their taxes.

According to the study, Montana taxpayers are the most accurate, with 7.78 percent of their returns perfectly balanced.

Mississippi was at the bottom of the rankings, with 3.57 percent of returns meeting the accuracy standard.

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