Special Report

States With the Largest Average Tax Refund

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The Internal Revenue Service collected more than $3.5 trillion in taxes in 2019. Not all of this money went to funding the government, however. Nearly half of all tax returns filed by individuals, corporations, and estates received a refund.

Altogether, the IRS issued nearly 122 million refunds totaling $452.1 billion, at an average of $3,709 per refund. There are a number of variables that affect the amount that is refunded, one of which is location. The average refund varies by state from under $2,500 to more than $8,700.

To determine the average tax refund in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on tax refunds from the IRS.

Though the average refund nationwide was just over $3,700 in 2019, only four states actually exceeded that amount. This is in large part because one state, Delaware, skewed the average, with an average refund of nearly $8,800. Many of these refunds were issued to some of the 1.5 million companies incorporated in the state. The state attracts many businesses because of its  corporate-friendly tax laws, which includes having no residency requirement and providing anonymity to corporate executives.

Federal taxes are, of course, far from the only taxation Americans face. They also have to pay state income taxes and other state and local taxes, including gas taxes, which range from 13 to 63 cents, depending on the state. These are the states with the highest and lowest gas taxes.

Click here to see the states with the largest average tax refund.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.

50. Montana
> Average federal tax refund: $2,459
> Median household income: $57,153 (11th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $5,948 (6th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 38.7% (the fewest)

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49. Maine
> Average federal tax refund: $2,482
> Median household income: $58,924 (16th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $6,049 (7th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 46.0% (15th fewest)

48. Oregon
> Average federal tax refund: $2,537
> Median household income: $67,058 (18th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $8,308 (20th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 42.9% (3rd fewest)

47. Vermont
> Average federal tax refund: $2,583
> Median household income: $63,001 (25th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $7,220 (11th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 44.7% (10th fewest)

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46. Rhode Island
> Average federal tax refund: $2,605
> Median household income: $71,169 (15th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $13,523 (7th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 50.4% (16th most)

45. Wisconsin
> Average federal tax refund: $2,655
> Median household income: $64,168 (21st highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $9,081 (22nd highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 49.8% (18th most)

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44. South Carolina
> Average federal tax refund: $2,660
> Median household income: $56,227 (10th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $5,416 (5th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 50.4% (17th most)

43. Idaho
> Average federal tax refund: $2,669
> Median household income: $60,999 (20th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $6,347 (8th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 44.3% (8th fewest)

42. New Hampshire
> Average federal tax refund: $2,694
> Median household income: $77,933 (8th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $8,979 (25th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 49.5% (20th most)

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41. New Mexico
> Average federal tax refund: $2,725
> Median household income: $51,945 (6th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $4,421 (3rd lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 51.4% (11th most)

40. Kentucky
> Average federal tax refund: $2,751
> Median household income: $52,295 (7th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $7,967 (17th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 54.6% (5th most)

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39. Hawaii
> Average federal tax refund: $2,792
> Median household income: $83,102 (4th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $6,530 (9th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 47.2% (20th fewest)

38. West Virginia
> Average federal tax refund: $2,808
> Median household income: $48,850 (2nd lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $3,928 (2nd lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 58.3% (the most)

37. Indiana
> Average federal tax refund: $2,817
> Median household income: $57,603 (14th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $9,006 (25th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 56.0% (3rd most)

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36. Ohio
> Average federal tax refund: $2,827
> Median household income: $58,642 (15th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $12,379 (12th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 53.1% (6th most)

35. North Carolina
> Average federal tax refund: $2,830
> Median household income: $57,341 (12th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $8,369 (21st lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 50.6% (14th most)

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34. North Dakota
> Average federal tax refund: $2,840
> Median household income: $64,577 (20th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $8,713 (23rd lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 43.3% (5th fewest)

33. Utah
> Average federal tax refund: $2,916
> Median household income: $75,780 (11th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $7,591 (14th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 46.0% (14th fewest)

32. Iowa
> Average federal tax refund: $2,922
> Median household income: $61,691 (21st lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $7,897 (16th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 47.8% (23rd fewest)

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31. Missouri
> Average federal tax refund: $2,927
> Median household income: $57,409 (13th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $10,452 (15th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 48.5% (23rd most)

30. Virginia
> Average federal tax refund: $2,940
> Median household income: $76,456 (10th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $9,791 (20th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 49.0% (22nd most)

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29. Michigan
> Average federal tax refund: $2,966
> Median household income: $59,584 (19th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $8,169 (18th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 51.6% (10th most)

28. Maryland
> Average federal tax refund: $2,979
> Median household income: $86,738 (the highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $12,980 (10th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 47.0% (19th fewest)

27. Arizona
> Average federal tax refund: $3,000
> Median household income: $62,055 (23rd lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $6,559 (10th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 48.3% (25th most)

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26. South Dakota
> Average federal tax refund: $3,041
> Median household income: $59,533 (18th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $9,076 (23rd highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 43.9% (6th fewest)

25. Pennsylvania
> Average federal tax refund: $3,055
> Median household income: $63,463 (23rd highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $11,090 (14th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 51.7% (9th most)

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24. Colorado
> Average federal tax refund: $3,067
> Median household income: $77,127 (9th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $10,412 (16th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 43.0% (4th fewest)

23. Nevada
> Average federal tax refund: $3,070
> Median household income: $63,276 (24th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $7,717 (15th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 50.6% (15th most)

22. Arkansas
> Average federal tax refund: $3,081
> Median household income: $48,952 (3rd lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $10,131 (18th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 50.9% (12th most)

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21. Mississippi
> Average federal tax refund: $3,087
> Median household income: $45,792 (the lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $3,788 (the lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 55.6% (4th most)

20. California
> Average federal tax refund: $3,094
> Median household income: $80,440 (5th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $11,946 (13th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 44.6% (9th fewest)

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19. Tennessee
> Average federal tax refund: $3,111
> Median household income: $56,071 (9th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $10,216 (17th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 56.0% (2nd most)

18. Alaska
> Average federal tax refund: $3,122
> Median household income: $75,463 (12th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $7,375 (13th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 48.4% (24th most)

17. Wyoming
> Average federal tax refund: $3,136
> Median household income: $65,003 (19th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $8,197 (19th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 41.2% (2nd fewest)

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16. Georgia
> Average federal tax refund: $3,162
> Median household income: $61,980 (22nd lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $8,882 (24th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 49.7% (19th most)

15. Alabama
> Average federal tax refund: $3,204
> Median household income: $51,734 (5th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $5,407 (4th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 53.1% (7th most)

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14. Florida
> Average federal tax refund: $3,234
> Median household income: $59,227 (17th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $9,779 (21st highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 45.2% (11th fewest)

13. Kansas
> Average federal tax refund: $3,291
> Median household income: $62,087 (24th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $9,041 (24th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 47.8% (24th fewest)

12. Oklahoma
> Average federal tax refund: $3,327
> Median household income: $54,449 (8th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $7,363 (12th lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 48.3% (25th fewest)

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11. Louisiana
> Average federal tax refund: $3,349
> Median household income: $51,073 (4th lowest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $8,482 (22nd lowest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 50.8% (13th most)

10. Washington
> Average federal tax refund: $3,351
> Median household income: $78,687 (7th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $13,212 (8th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 47.6% (22nd fewest)

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9. Massachusetts
> Average federal tax refund: $3,478
> Median household income: $85,843 (2nd highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $17,415 (3rd highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 47.3% (21st fewest)

8. New York
> Average federal tax refund: $3,495
> Median household income: $72,108 (14th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $15,678 (6th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 46.9% (18th fewest)

7. Minnesota
> Average federal tax refund: $3,571
> Median household income: $74,593 (13th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $18,200 (2nd highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 46.7% (16th fewest)

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6. Nebraska
> Average federal tax refund: $3,652
> Median household income: $63,229 (25th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $13,209 (9th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 44.1% (7th fewest)

5. Texas
> Average federal tax refund: $3,684
> Median household income: $64,034 (22nd highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $10,082 (19th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 52.1% (8th most)

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4. Illinois
> Average federal tax refund: $3,724
> Median household income: $69,187 (17th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $12,806 (11th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 49.0% (21st most)

3. Connecticut
> Average federal tax refund: $4,018
> Median household income: $78,833 (6th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $16,014 (4th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 46.8% (17th fewest)

2. New Jersey
> Average federal tax refund: $4,502
> Median household income: $85,751 (3rd highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $15,791 (5th highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 45.6% (12th fewest)

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1. Delaware
> Average federal tax refund: $8,766
> Median household income: $70,176 (16th highest)
> Federal tax collections per capita: $20,615 (the highest)
> Pct. filings receiving refunds: 45.6% (13th fewest)

Methodology:

To determine the average tax refund in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service. States were ranked based on the average tax refund amount issued in the 2019 fiscal year. The state average tax refund figure includes refunds for filings not just by individuals but all filing documents, including corporate taxes, estate taxes, and more. Data on total collections and total number of tax returns filed also came from the IRS.

Supplemental data on median household income and population used to adjust total IRS collections to a per capita figure came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

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