Federal tax refunds up, despite early reports to the contrary | TribLIVE.com

Federal tax refunds up, despite early reports to the contrary

Deb Erdley

With tax day looming a month away, the Washington Post has a good news-bad news report about tax refunds.

First the good news.

Although early reports suggested tax refunds were down anywhere from 8 to 16.8 percent in the first year of the new tax system, more recent reports show the average refund is actually up slightly. As of March 1, federal tax refunds averaged $3,068, compared to an average of $3,046 from the same period last year.

The Internal Revenue Service reported early filers already have collected $142 billion in refunds this year.

Now the depressing news.

The IRS says it is sitting on $1.4 billion owed to 1.2 million taxpayers who have yet to file their 2015 tax returns. The average potential refund owed those non-filers: $879.

Non-filers will have to hustle to claim that bounty. Taxpayers typically have three years to claim a refund. Any 2015 refunds not claimed by this year’s filing deadline defaults to the U.S. Treasury.

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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