IRS reports the average taxpayer refund is less in 2023; Local experts explain why

IRS reports taxpayers’ average refund is smaller in 2023

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Officials with the IRS say more than 100 million people who already filed their taxes are getting on average refunds that are nine percent less than last year.

Some look forward to this time of year because they know they are going to get a chunky refund check from Uncle Sam. However, this year taxpayers say not only are they receiving a smaller refund check but many also have to write a check.

The IRS has processed 1,367,000 returns and counting, more than last year at this time, but the refunds have been reduced. The average refund check last year at this time was $3,175. This year it’s $2,878.

“For people with families with children definitely they are seeing less of a refund,” said Chuck Erb, tax agent and manager of Erb Financial. “Some of the credits are less. A lot of things were just a one or two-year deal and now they are over.”

Erb says they are smaller refunds because a lot of pandemic relief credits have expired.

“There was a child tax credit that was up to $3,500 for some children,” Erb said. “That’s back down to $2,000. There was an earned income credit that was much more generous last year.”

Alfred Burgos, president of Burgos Income Tax, says the other issue is many people lowered their tax withholdings and received more money in their paychecks, causing them now to have to pay up.

“Employees are able to adjust their W-4 form we call it so they can get more money in their paycheck but they are paying less taxes,” Burgos said.

“A lot of individuals are owing money because of the inflation situation,” Burgos said. “They want to get a bigger paycheck.”

Patrick and Julie Christopher say they plan on withholding more so in the end they will receive more.

“We’re going to have extra taken out of our paychecks just so we can get some money back like a savings account instead of paying,” Patrick said.

The IRS says so far more than 69 million people have received a refund. The average refund amount is $2,878 this year compared to $3,178 last year.