Taxpayers are seeing smaller refunds across the US — here's how much the average person gets back in every state

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
  • Tax Day 2019, the last day to file your 2018 tax return, is Monday, April 15.
  • Your tax refund will typically be available within 21 days if you file electronically.
  • The average federal tax refund for the 2017 tax year was $US2,727, but the figure varies by state.
  • In some states, including New York, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, the average tax refund tops $US3,000.

You can now submit your tax return and wait for your refund.

The IRS sent $US324 billion back to taxpayers in 2018; the average tax refund was $US2,727. According to early IRS data, tax refunds are down this year, drawing the ire of many Americans. Despite widespread belief that lower refunds are due to President Donald Trump’s new tax law raising taxes for the middle class, the truth is that most middle-income Americans received a tax cut this year, and experts say the size of a person’s refund is not indicative of their tax bill.

Business Insider analysed data from the IRS to find the average federal tax refund in each state and Washington, DC. To do so, we looked at the total income tax refund for each state for fiscal year 2017 (or tax year 2016) and divided it by the number of refunds there.

Maine had the lowest average tax refund, with $US2,336, while Texas had the highest, with an average of $US3,206. Northern states were more likely to receive smaller tax refunds – seven of the 10 states with the lowest average refunds share a border with Canada.

California, the most populous state in America, led the way with the most refunds and largest total amount in refunds but missed the top 10 in average refunds, coming in at No. 11. Wyoming, the least populous, had the fewest refunds, but residents had the 7th-highest average tax refund.

This tax season is the first under President Trump’s new tax law. Some Americans may see a refund either bigger or smaller than they’re used to if they didn’t adjust their withholdings after the tax law took effect.

Getting a smaller tax refund may be a smart move, says Business Insider’s Lauren Lyons Cole, a certified financial planner. She says that overpaying your tax bill by withholding too much from your paycheck is basically an interest-free loan to the government.

Scroll through to see how much the average person gets back in every state, ordered from the biggest federal tax refund to the smallest. We also included the total amount in tax refunds in each state and the number of federal tax refunds received.

Matthew Michaels contributed to an earlier version of this post.


Texas

Wikimedia Commons

Average refund: $US3,206

Number of refunds: 10,087,693

Total income tax refunded: $US32.3 billion


Louisiana

Average refund: $US3,115

Number of refunds: 1,611,412

Total income tax refunded: $US5 billion


Connecticut

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US3,099

Number of refunds: 1,396,609

Total income tax refunded: $US4.3 billion


Oklahoma

iStock

Average refund: $US3,098

Number of refunds: 1,300,577

Total income tax refunded: $US4 billion


New York

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Average refund: $US3,059

Number of refunds: 7,712,210

Total income tax refunded: $US23.6 billion


New Jersey

Average refund: $US3,013

Number of refunds: 3,479,321

Total income tax refunded: $US10.5 billion


Wyoming

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Average refund: $US2,989

Number of refunds: 214,649

Total income tax refunded: $US641.6 million


North Dakota

Flickr/J24L

Average refund: $US2,983

Number of refunds: 277,422

Total income tax refunded: $US827.4 million


Florida

Average refund: $US2,933

Number of refunds: 7,854,538

Total income tax refunded: $US23 billion


Mississippi

Average refund: $US2,922

Number of refunds: 1,018,429

Total income tax refunded: $US2.97 billion


California

Average refund: $US2,911

Number of refunds: 13,594,703

Total income tax refunded: $US39.5 billion


Washington, DC

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Average refund: $US2,900

Number of refunds: 277,399

Total income tax refunded: $US804.5 million


Illinois

Average refund: $US2,900

Number of refunds: 4,973,653

Total income tax refunded: $US14.4 billion


Maryland

Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

Average refund: $US2,861

Number of refunds: 2,329,288

Total income tax refunded: $US6.7 billion


Massachusetts

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,850

Number of refunds: 2,704,250

Total income tax refunded: $US7.7 billion


Alaska

Army photo by John Pennell

Average refund: $US2,843

Number of refunds: 276,887

Total income tax refunded: $US787 million


Nevada

Andrew Zarivny/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,830

Number of refunds: 1,111,952

Total income tax refunded: $US3 billion


Georgia

Average refund: $US2,832

Number of refunds: 3,606,774

Total income tax refunded: $US10.2 billion


Alabama

clayton harrison / Shutterstock.com

Average refund: $US2,802

Number of refunds: 1,650,125

Total income tax refunded: $US4.6 billion


Virginia

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,771

Number of refunds: 3,129,030

Total income tax refunded: $US8.7 billion


Arkansas

Average refund: $US2,759

Number of refunds: 989,288

Total income tax refunded: $US2.7 billion


Tennessee

Melinda Fawver/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,726

Number of refunds: 2,465,816

Total income tax refunded: $US6.7 billion


Utah

Average refund: $US2,681

Number of refunds: 1,033,141

Total income tax refunded: $US2.8 billion


Washington

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,681

Number of refunds: 2,749,362

Total income tax refunded: $US7.4 billion


Arizona

Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,672

Number of refunds: 2,244,925

Total income tax refunded: $US6 billion


Kansas

Average refund: $US2,665

Number of refunds: 1,044,275

Total income tax refunded: $US2.8 billion


New Mexico

Average refund: $US2,657

Number of refunds: 724,549

Total income tax refunded: $US1.9 billion


South Dakota

Wikimedia

Average refund: $US2,651

Number of refunds: 321,372

Total income tax refunded: $US852 million


West Virginia

Average refund: $US2,649

Number of refunds: 649,049

Total income tax refunded: $US1.7 billion


Kentucky

Chris Graythen/Getty

Average refund: $US2,648

Number of refunds: 1,590,274

Total income tax refunded: $US4.2 billion


Delaware

Average refund: $US2,648

Number of refunds: 365,749

Total income tax refunded: $US968.4 million


Rhode Island

Average refund: $US2,643

Number of refunds: 436,490

Total income tax refunded: $US1.1 billion


Pennsylvania

Average refund: $US2,643

Number of refunds: 5,071,264

Total income tax refunded: $US13.4 billion


Colorado

Average refund: $US2,636

Number of refunds: 2,014,233

Total income tax refunded: $US5.3 billion


North Carolina

digidreamgrafix/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,629

Number of refunds: 3,580,471

Total income tax refunded: $US9.4 billion


Nebraska

Scruggelgreen/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,615

Number of refunds: 711,103

Total income tax refunded: $US1.8 billion


Indiana

Wikimedia Commons

Average refund: $US2,612

Number of refunds: 2,577,994

Total income tax refunded: $US6.7 billion


Iowa

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Average refund: $US2,602

Number of refunds: 1,141,151

Total income tax refunded: $US3 billion


New Hampshire

Average refund: $US2,602

Number of refunds: 558,359

Total income tax refunded: $US1.4 billion


Missouri

f11photo/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,601

Number of refunds: 2,220,029

Total income tax refunded: $US5.7 billion


South Carolina

Average refund: $US2,569

Number of refunds: 1,719,299

Total income tax refunded: $US4.4 billion


Hawaii

Benjamin Zhang

Average refund: $US2,564

Number of refunds: 535,763

Total income tax refunded: $US1.4 billion


Michigan

Maria Dryfhout/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,560

Number of refunds: 3,776,668

Total income tax refunded: $US9.7 billion


Ohio

Average refund: $US2,517

Number of refunds: 4,570,589

Total income tax refunded: $US11.5 billion


Minnesota

Average refund: $US2,516

Number of refunds: 2,112,212

Total income tax refunded: $US5.3 billion


Idaho

Charles Knowles/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,457

Number of refunds: 561,133

Total income tax refunded: $US1.4 billion


Wisconsin

Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,436

Number of refunds: 2,236,886

Total income tax refunded: $US5.4 billion


Montana

Average refund: $US2,401

Number of refunds: 372,817

Total income tax refunded: $US895 million


Oregon

Jess Kraft/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,398

Number of refunds: 1,431,924

Total income tax refunded: $US3.4 billion


Vermont

Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,392

Number of refunds: 254,192

Total income tax refunded: $US608 million


Maine

E.J.Johnson Photography/Shutterstock

Average refund: $US2,336

Number of refunds: 509,896

Total income tax refunded: $US1.2 billion

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