X

IRS Has Issued $201B in Tax Refunds With Just Days Left in 2024's Filing Season. What to Know

With three days until the income tax deadline, the IRS continues to surpass numbers from 2023.

Mary-Elisabeth Combs Associate Writer
Mary-Elisabeth is an associate writer on CNET's How-To team. She's a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's English Department, and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. On the How-To team, she covers a little bit of everything. When she's not writing, she's catching up on Formula 1 or reading.
Mary-Elisabeth Combs
3 min read
5, 10, and 20 dollar bills

The IRS has issued more than $201.17 billion in tax refunds so far this tax season.

James Martin/CNET

The 2024 tax season has been going for over 10 weeks, and now there's just three days left until the 2024 filing season officially wraps up. This year's tax season kicked off on Jan. 29 and will be coming to an end on April 15 (unless you've filed an extension or been given more time to file from the IRS due to local natural disasters). The amount of tax refund money the IRS has sent out is continuing to pick up, even though the total number of refunds sent so far in 2024 is continuing to lag slightly behind the numbers for the same period in 2023.

tax tips badge art

Taxpayers can normally expect to receive a refund within 21 days if they file electronically and choose direct deposit, the IRS said. But by April 5, the IRS had issued more than 66.7 million refunds. By comparison, the IRS had sent out over 69 million refunds by April 7, 2023. 

Tax season last year started six days earlier, however, on Jan. 23, so the IRS had nearly a week longer to receive and process tax returns and send refunds. Given that, it seems that the agency is beginning to catch, and even surpass, last year's numbers. 

Here's how the IRS is doing this year. For more on taxes, check out our essential 2024 tax filing cheat sheet, how to track your refund with the IRS and the best tax software for 2024.

How many tax returns has the IRS processed so far in 2024? 

As of April 5, the IRS said it had processed 100.1 million federal income tax returns, down by 0.3% from the 100.3 million it got through this time last year. With tax season starting earlier in 2023 -- Jan. 23 versus Jan. 29 -- filers had six more days last year to send in their tax returns.

Smart Money Advice on the Topics That Matter to You
CNET Money brings financial insights, trends and news to your inbox every Wednesday.
 
Yes, I also want to receive the CNET Insider newsletter, keeping me up to date with all things CNET.
By signing up, you will receive newsletters and promotional content and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

The IRS had also received 101.8 million returns by April 5, up by 0.5% from the 101.3 million it received by April 7, 2023.

Of the 101.8 million returns received so far, just over 98.4 million of those were filed electronically, the IRS said -- 53.1 million from professional tax preparers and another 45.2 million from self-preparers.

Smart Money Advice on the Topics That Matter to You
CNET Money brings financial insights, trends and news to your inbox every Wednesday.
 
Yes, I also want to receive the CNET Insider newsletter, keeping me up to date with all things CNET.
By signing up, you will receive newsletters and promotional content and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

How many tax refunds has the IRS issued so far? 

The IRS has issued more than 66.7 million refunds as of April 5, down by 3.3% from the 69 million it had sent out by April 7, 2023. 

In the first 10 weeks of this tax year, the IRS refunded over $200.1 billion -- up by 1.1% from the $198.9 billion sent out by April 7 last year. Once again, the 2023 tax season began six days earlier.

How do 2024's tax refunds stack up to 2023's so far?

The average refund size is up by 4.6%, from $2,878 for 2023's tax season through April 7, to $3,011 for this season through April 5.

While the average refund size is up so far compared to the same time last year, the IRS told CNET that making year-to-date comparisons can be tricky because of how much earlier it started last year. The agency did say the 2024 tax season is off to a strong start, with all systems running well. 

Of those who received refunds, 63.4 million chose direct deposit, and their refund was $3,088. By comparison, for the same time period last year, 66.3 million direct depositors had already received their return, which averaged $2,942.

For more, here are the dates you need to know to get you through this tax season. For more on taxes, here's how to set up an account on the IRS website and what to know about this year's child tax credit.