The average tax refund is $22 higher than a year ago after the fifth week of filing season, the Internal Revenue Service reported on Thursday.
The average 2019 tax refund issued so far rose to $3,068, up 0.7 percent from $3,036 at the same time last year. The IRS has issued about 46.4 million total refunds. That’s more than 2 million fewer, or down 4.2 percent, from last year.
So far, the agency has processed almost 56.9 million returns, about 3.7 percent less than last year at this time. It has received 59.2 million returns of an expected 150 million for the year.
The IRS began accepting returns on Jan. 28. Most taxpayers have until April 15 to file their returns.
Tax refunds have been closely watched this year, the first since the new tax law went into effect. Overall, four out of five taxpayers are estimated to have a lower tax liability this year because of the new law. Only 5 percent are forecast to pay more.
But some taxpayers may get a smaller refund than they're used to getting or even owe the federal government if they didn’t adjust their paycheck withholdings during the year to account for the tax code changes, tax experts have warned.
People who got a smaller refund or an unexpected tax bill, probably received their tax savings in each paycheck during the year.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tax refunds are larger by an average of $22 after fifth week of filing season