Every year during early March Louisiana's economy gets a bit of a boost. Sure, Louisiana gets a boost from Mardi Gras but this boost is more on a personal level as compared to a municipal or statewide level. The boost I am referring to is that magic moment when you realize you've overpaid the government and they are graciously returning some of your money to you. Yeah, we're talking about your tax refund.

Americans File Their Returns On Tax Day 2019
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There appears to be a broad misconception about tax refunds. Some people tend to think getting a large tax refund is a good thing. It is when you compare it to not getting any of your money back but as we've already alluded to, a refund is for "overpayment".

In other words, you've been giving the government more of your paycheck than necessary every two weeks. Wouldn't you rather have that money to use rather than let Uncle Sam use it and then give it back to you without accruing any interest? In a perfect world, the amount you pay and the amount you owe would be equal on every paycheck. So, no you wouldn't get a refund but yes, you'd have access to your money when you earn it not when the government gives it back to you.

Last-Minute Tax Payers Rush To File Their Returns
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Based on statistics from the Internal Revenue Service some 25.4 million tax returns have already been processed this year. The bad news is that refunds overall are down by about 20%. In addition to the total amount being down the IRS stats suggest that refunds as a whole are down by 44% compared to last year.

In 2023, the average IRS federal refund was determined to be $1,997. In 2024 the average refund is expected to be well below that figure. The early returns suggest refund amounts are down by 13% compared to last year. That means, if you're average, you'll be getting about $1,741 back from the tax man, the federal tax man, this year.

Tax Preparers Work To Meet Tomorrow's Deadline
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There is reason to believe that the average refund amount will steadily grow higher over the next month or so. The reason will be the payments sent to those claiming Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit will be counted. Those returns can't even be processed until February 27th at the earliest.

If you've filed your return and want to know the status of your refund. The IRS has this link. Use it and you can find out when direct deposit funds will be available or get an idea of when a refund check might be issued and sent in the mail.

But, if you're not filing with those circumstances you can use the $1,741 figure as a reference to see if your refund amount is above or below average. Incidentally, we posed the question on social media, "How many pounds of crawfish could you buy with an average IRS refund"? Based on current prices you'd be looking at just over 150 pounds of crawfish. Or, enough to feed a small Cajun family. Good luck with your refund.

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Gallery Credit: Michael Dot Scott






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