Through April 13, the Internal Revenue Service had received 118.6 million tax returns. It had issued more than 86 million refunds totaling almost $243.6 billion.
The refund numbers are fractionally smaller than in 2017, but they are still big enough to mean the average amount of money that Uncle Sam has sent so far this year to taxpayers is $2,831. That average check or direct deposit amount actually is slightly larger than last year's amount.
GOBankingRates recently asked Americans how they planned to spend their tax windfalls.
The results were encouraging for money folks who preach fiscal responsibility.
Forty-three percent of the survey respondents said they will put their refunds into savings.
Another 36 percent said they will use the money to pay off debt.
More carefree uses of tax refunds accounted for just a combined 21 percent of those polled.
Refund redux: The 2018 tax refund use responses were similar to those GOBankingRates reported last year and which DailyInfographic used in creating its visual look at tax facts and how folks spend their tax-back cash.
The refund section is shown below; click on it for the full infographic.
No refunds are good, too: GOBankingRates found that 36 percent of those polled this year didn't expect to receive a tax refund.
That, too, is actually a smart money move. You didn't give the U.S. Treasury use of your money as an interest-free loan all year. You did get more of your money in each paycheck. And you didn't have to wait for the IRS to process your filing and send your tax cash.
Yes, over-withholding is an easy forced savings account. But again, no interest.
And some refunds — those that are due taxpayers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or additional child tax credit — by law cannot be issued until mid-February. In reality, though, that usually means these filers don't get their refunds until late February.
Planning your refund: That's why the IRS encourages all of us to double check payroll withholding to ensure that it's one Goldilocks' ursine visitors would love. Just right.
That's especially important now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made substantial changes to many tax provisions that affect withholding and our eventual 2018 return filings next year.
If you got or are expecting a tax refund, do your plans align with those found in the polls? Have you received it yet? Or are you still waiting?
You also might find these items of interest:
- 5 tax refund myths busted
- The pros and cons of tax refunds
- Tax refund loans, checks still cost taxpayers lots of money