Luzerne County in state's top 20 for tax refunds

Jun. 10—When it comes to federal tax refunds, you could do worse than living in Luzerne County, according to a new study.

You could do better — moving to Lackawanna County would help — but you could do worse.

The website, which bills itself as "a financial technology company aiming to provide the best personal finance advice on the web," looked at Internal Revenue Service data for counties nationwide, calculating the average refund for those who received refunds. It also ranked counties in each state.

In Luzerne County, 130,790 people got refunds, averaging $2,711 each. That was the 19th highest average refund among Pennsylvania's 67 counties. Among adjacent counties, only Lackawanna did better, where the average refund was $2,788, ranking 12th.

Locally, the lowest average refund was in Carbon County: $2,539, ranking it 53rd in the state. The state overall averaged $2,742 per refund.

For a crack at the best refund, consider moving to Chester County, where the average was $3,103, the highest statewide. And if for some reason you want to get the least back from the IRS, move to Forest County in the northwest corner of the state, where the average refund was $2,281.

The website also calculated the average amount owed to the IRS among people who had to write a check to the government rather than endorse a check from it. In Luzerne County, 19,210 people owed money, and the average payment to Uncle Sam was $4,717.

Locally, that's not terrible. The smallest average payment to the IRS was $3,446 in Carbon County, while the highest average payment was a depressing $6,050 in Sullivan County.

The complete report, for the state and the nation, is available at