Americans received a slightly lower income tax refund this year. Down about 1.5% from 2009, the average refund check for this year was $2895, in contrast to last year’s average of $2,940. The IRS released statistical data including returns filed up to April 8th, 2011. The refunds have totaled up to 234.2 billion, down 0.1% from the 2009 figures. Higher refunds, an average of $3100, were reported for individuals accepting direct deposits instead of a mailed check.
Individuals are more willing to e-file their returns, an increase of 8.1%. Although the number of taxpayers preparing their own taxes is up this year, 9.8%, most Americans still choose to have their federal returns professionally handled. Procrastinators were given a couple of extra days this year to delay filing, Emancipation Day fell on the Saturday following the traditional April 15th filling date, therefore pushing the filing date to the 18th so the holiday could be observed on Friday.