A new study finds that, as of last month, the Internal Revenue Service has paid out about $8.3 billion in refunds, with the average amount of money spent on tax-deductible contributions rising from $6,100 in 2017 to $7,100.
The agency says that it is the largest refund program in the country.
But the study comes amid widespread criticism of the tax agency, with critics saying it’s too easy for wealthy people to avoid paying taxes.
A report released earlier this year found that the IRS paid out just a fraction of the estimated $5.5 trillion in refunds it collected over the past decade.
In 2018, the agency was expected to get just $1.3 trillion in refund money, according a Congressional Budget Office analysis.
Taxpayers who pay taxes to the IRS are eligible for tax credits that could save the government money over the next decade, as well as help them lower their overall tax bill.
Some argue the money would be better spent on the nation’s infrastructure.
The average refund amount paid to taxpayers in 2018 was $7.8 billion, according the report, which examined the total refunds that the agency received in fiscal year 2019.
That’s $1,851 per taxpayer, or nearly 2.5 percent of the country’s total refunds.
Taxpayer advocates argue that taxpayers should not have to wait for refunds to come in.
They say the government is not properly tracking the refund payments, which could mean that taxpayers could be left out of the refund process if they owe taxes in multiple states.
A recent study from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that refunds have risen at a slower rate than other revenue streams.
That means that the tax program could get about $1 trillion in tax revenue each year over the coming decade.
But experts say that the money is unlikely to keep rising indefinitely.
“There’s going to be some pain, and we’ll be paying it for it,” said Steven Rosenthal, the head of the Tax Policy Institute, a conservative think tank.
“The fact is that it’s a very, very small amount of tax revenue that we’re going to have to pay over the course of a decade.”
He also said the money could be better used to help address other areas.
The Tax Policy study found that taxpayers who receive a refund could be entitled to a rebate equal to 50 percent of their tax bill if they pay a full 30 percent of it in state and local taxes.
The tax refund amount is determined by the amount of state and federal taxes paid, and is then reduced by the refund amount.
The IRS has said that it will offer more details about its refund program next year.
The study is based on data from the Internal Service for the Tax Year 2019.