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IRS warns Americans that early 2024 tax returns are down a whopping 29% from last year, but experts remain optimistic
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IRS warns Americans that early 2024 tax returns are down a whopping 29% from last year, but experts remain optimistic

For Americans expecting a 2024 tax refund similar to last year's check, the Internal Revenue Service is pouring ice-cold water on that prospect.

The IRS warned Americans that they may have to expect significantly smaller tax refund checks in 2024 compared to last year, according to early data published by the government bureau responsible for assessing and collecting taxes.

The IRS noted that the average tax refund was $1,963 through Feb. 3, 2023. At the same period of time in 2024, the average refund totaled $1,395, — a whopping decrease of 29% from last year.

The IRS attempted to temper concerns over the worrying data. The agency believes that the average could increase as more returns are processed and stressed that all systems are "running well."

"Because the 2023 filing season began on Jan. 23, the IRS had been receiving returns for 12 days by Feb. 3, 2023; compared to only 5 days for the 2024 filing season, which opened on Jan. 29. Considering the loss of 7 days in this comparison, filing season statistics below show a strong start to filing season 2024, with all systems running well," the Internal Revenue Service noted.

Through Feb. 2, 2024, there have been a total of more than 2.6 million tax refunds worth $3.6 billion.

Through Feb. 3, 2023, there were a total of nearly 8 million tax refunds worth nearly $15.7 billion.

Fox Business reported, "Nearly three-quarters of filers received a tax refund in 2023, with an average payment worth about $3,176, down about 3% from the previous year."

However, Americans are still attempting to deal with painful inflation shrinking their wallets.

According to Investopedia, inflation year-over-year rose 7% in 2021, 6.5% in 2022, and 3.4% in 2023.

Ironically, debilitating inflation could actually benefit taxpayers.

CBS MoneyWatch reported, "That's because the IRS adjusted many of its provisions in 2023 for inflation, pushing the standard deduction to a more generous level and raising its tax brackets by 7.1% — a historically large adjustment."

Mark Steber, chief tax information officer at Jackson Hewitt, told the outlet, "Say your income didn't keep pace with inflation — you made the same as the prior year but didn't increase your income by that inflation rate of 7% or so — you could see a better refund. We are predicting a higher refund for those people, up to 10%."

Steber added, "There's not a lot of good news for the low- and moderate-income people who didn't keep pace with inflation, and that's a lot of people. This is not some outlier group. Those people should see a little better situation on their taxes this year."

Taxpayers will have until the April 15 deadline to submit their returns or request an extension.

The IRS expects to receive over 128.7 million individual tax returns by this year’s deadline, which falls on a Monday.

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Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@Paul_Sacca →