Tax Filing Season: 2016 Filing Season Statistics
This is the second factoid in a series of four factoids detailing the growing emergence of a tax refund season. Many home furnishings advertising and sales events throughout the year focus either on a national holiday or “end of season” promotion. National holidays presumably give consumers an extra day to get out and shop and “end of season” events help retailers clear inventory off floors to make room for new merchandise. Only recently taking form across all consumer products is a sales event that focuses on when consumers actually have extra money to spend.
In the 2016 tax filing season, over 111 million tax filers received refunds out of the 152 million tax returns processed. At 82.7 percent in 2016, the vast majority of people filing in February are receiving refunds. 41.9 percent of the year’s filers or 46.5 million returns received refunds in February. Another 21.8 percent of filers received refunds in March and 16.2 percent in April with the remaining 20 percent getting money between May and December.
Almost half of the money paid out in tax refunds (44.7 percent) for the entire year occurred in February – $142 billion out of $318 billion. March accounted for 19.1 percent and April for 13.2 percent of total refund dollars. Less than one-quarter of refund dollars were paid in months May through December.
With an average refund of $2,860 during 2016, those filing early in February received refunds 6.8 percent higher at an average of $3,053. Both March and April were less – averaging $2,506 and $2,327. Surprisingly, those waiting to file later (between May and December), received an average of $3,271 per refund.
Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 2016 Filing Season Statistics