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Sunday May 19, 2019

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Average Income Tax Refund Up 1.3%

On February 28, the IRS reported an increase in tax refunds. The average 2019 refund amount of $3,143 is 1.3% higher than last year's average. The increased refunds reflect tax returns that claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

Most taxpayers who file electronically receive a tax refund within 21 days. If a paper tax return is filed, the refund may be delayed for six weeks or longer.

For the approximately 21% of taxpayers who will owe additional tax this year, the Service reminds them that payment is due by April 15, 2019 (with the exception of Maine and Massachusetts residents who must pay by April 17, 2019). If taxpayers cannot pay the full amount, there are four options approved by the IRS.
  1. Online Payments - Individuals owing $50,000 or less and businesses owing $25,000 or less may qualify for an Online Payment Agreement. Taxpayers may apply on IRS.gov by clicking on "Apply Online for a Payment Plan."
  2. Installment Agreement - Taxpayers who do not qualify for an Online Payment Agreement, may be able to set up an installment payment plan. With the installment agreement, a taxpayer will often have payments made directly from his or her bank account or through a payroll deduction.
  3. Delayed Collection - The IRS may consider economic circumstances and permit a delay in payments. Taxpayers will need to contact the IRS personally to discuss this collection alternative.
  4. Offer in Compromise - Taxpayers may offer to settle a tax debt for less than the stated amount. Go to IRS.gov and use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool. In a limited number of circumstances, the IRS may accept a reduced tax payment amount.

Published March 1, 2019
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