For millions of Americans, the tax refund is the light at the end of the tunnel – the reward that makes the drudgery of dealing with H&R Block, or fumbling with TaxAct or TurboTax – all worth it. While not every American receives a refund (and millions receive tax credits even though they don’t pay any money in federal income tax) the federal government gives back hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
But not everybody receives the same amount. And in the spirit of illustrating these national disparities, HowMuch.com created a map to show the average tax refund in every state.
As one might expect, pockets of wealth are clustered around California and the mid-Atlantic region – as well as the Southeast, which benefits from energy-related wealth.
Overall, states are split into four groups depending of the size of their average tax refund. Dark green states have average tax refunds over $3,001, light green states between $2,751 and $3,000, light blue states between $2,501 and $2,750 and dark blue states between $2,300 and $2,500. The data was collected from the IRS.
In 2017, the IRS returned $324 billion back to taxpayers. According to IRS data, the average tax refund was $2,895 per taxpayer. But that’s just the average. The refunds received by taxpayers varied significantly between states and was within a range of between $2,302 and $3,133.
Top Five States by Refund Size
New York: $2,986
Bottom Five States by Refund Size
HowMuch points out a few obvious trends in the data: For example, eight of the 10 states with the lowest tax refund share a border with Canada. Also, states with refunds lower than average tend to states with low populations, but there are a few exceptions.
Another thing to notice is that the states with the lowest tax refunds are further away from the national average than the states with the highest refunds. Texas is only $238 above the average ($3133 – $2895). The bottom five states – Maine, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin and Montana – are all more than $500 away from the average…
The four largest states in the US – California, Florida, New York and Texas all had relatively large refunds…
If you’re considering a move to save more on taxes, the South is your best bet, with Texas in particular being one of the best choices.
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