By the time tax day arrives on April 15, hundreds of millions of returns will have come into the Internal Revenue Service. In 2017, according to the IRS, over 245 million tax returns were filed by individuals, couples, businesses, trust funds, and more.
Altogether, the government collected more than $3.4 trillion from filed returns. Not all of that money, however, remained in government coffers — nearly $437 billion was refunded.
The average refund amounted to $3,582, but refunds were not evenly distributed. In three states, residents received an average refund of over $4,000. In three other states, the average refund was less than $2,500.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2017 Internal Revenue Service Data Book to determine the states with the largest average tax refund.
These refunds can vary for many reasons. In some state, residents get lower refunds because these states have no income taxes. States that levy relatively high taxes have some of the highest refunds. The four of the five states that levy the most in taxes per capita all rank among the 5 states with the highest refunds in the country.
To determine the average tax refund in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2017 IRS Data Book for the total number of refunds issued in each state, then used the total amount refunded in each state to calculate the average tax refund. The state figure, which includes total filings receiving refunds, includes not just individual income tax returns but all filing documents, including corporate taxes, estate taxes, and more. The refund rate for individual income taxes is much higher in these states.