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3/19/2020

Clarification of IRS Weekly Tax Filing Season Data | U.S. Department of the Treasury

Clarification of IRS Weekly Tax Filing Season Data
February 22, 2019

Washington – A U.S. Department of the Treasury Spokesperson issued the following statement

today clarifying the weekly tax filing season statistics issued by the IRS:
“We recognize there is significant interest this year in the tax filing season statistics released by
the IRS. We understand this data has been released for years, and we want to continue the
practice to support transparency.
“As we have noted, data this early in the filing season has many aberrations and isn’t useful in
drawing broad conclusions on refunds overall. There are many factors that impact refunds on a
weekly basis that will normalize over time and lead to useful conclusions.
“This week, for instance, the IRS began processing refunds that included the Earned Income Tax
Credit and Child Tax Credit. The impact of these credits has significantly increased the average
refund to $2,640 this week from $1,949 last week. You will note that while this is a dramatic
increase week over week, it is a decrease from 2018 figures for this same week. What isn’t
apparent in the data released today is that it only accounts for less than half of EITC and CTC
payments to be processed in 2019, whereas all such credits had been paid through this same
period in 2018. As a result, comparing weekly data is misleading and confusing.
“It is also important to realize that there is a di erence between someone’s tax liability and their
tax refund. The size of someone’s tax refund says nothing about whether their taxes have gone
up or down. As we have said, most people are seeing the benefits of the tax cut in larger
paychecks throughout the year, instead of tax refunds that are the result of people overpaying
the government.
“Over a longer period of time, this data will become more useful in comparing tax filing statistics
for the 2019 filing season.”

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm615

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Clarification of IRS Weekly Tax Filing Season Data | U.S. Department of the Treasury

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https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm615

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