Here's the Average Tax Refund So Far in 2022

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  • The IRS has already issued 4.46 million refunds this year.
  • The average refund amount so far is $2,306, but that could change as more returns are processed.

How does your refund compare?

Many people dread the process of filing taxes, but the reality is that doing so can lead to a tax refund -- potentially a big one. At this point, we're still pretty early on in the 2022 tax season (during which 2021 returns are being filed), but so far, the IRS has processed about 13 million tax returns. Of those, 4.46 million were due a refund. The average refund so far has been substantial, coming in at $2,306.

Granted, that's less than the average refund last year, which came to $2,800. But let's not forget we still have many weeks left to go in the 2022 tax season, so that number could tick upward as more returns are processed.

This year's average tax refund may also end up being lower than last year's because many families with kids already received half of the Child Tax Credit in 2021. Last year, the value of the Child Tax Credit was boosted and half of it was paid in the form of monthly installments that hit recipients' bank accounts from July through December.

What should you do with your tax refund?

It may be that you're getting a tax refund in line with the average so far. Or maybe you're owed more or less money depending on your personal circumstances. Either way, it's important to put that money to good use. Here are some ways to do that.

  • Boost your emergency fund if you don't have a minimum of three months' worth of living expenses tucked away in a savings account.
  • Pay off high-interest debt, like the credit card balance you may have been carrying since the holiday season.
  • Pay off your car ahead of schedule so you have one less monthly debt to worry about.
  • Pad your IRA or 401(k) so you're able to get closer to meeting your retirement savings goals.
  • Sock your refund away in the bank so you're closer to being able to buy a home.
  • Buy life insurance if you don't have a policy in place but need one.
  • Do some estate planning, like creating a will.
  • Invest in tools that will make you better at your job, whether it's physical equipment or a course that will teach you new things.
  • Invest in your health by buying gym equipment so you can stay fit.
  • Fix up your home so minor issues don't become big ones.
  • Set aside money for your children's education -- or your own, if going back to school is something you want to do.

These are just some ideas. You may have another specific goal you're trying to meet, but the key is to spend that refund in a meaningful way rather than blow it.

Is a large tax refund a good thing?

The more money you get back from the IRS in refund form, the more you overpaid your taxes in 2021. Now, estimating your precise tax bill can be difficult, so don't beat yourself up if you're getting a large refund this year. At the same time, though, you may want to consider having less tax withheld from your paychecks this year if your refund is truly substantial. This especially holds true if you're having any trouble keeping up with your bills.

Meanwhile, it'll be interesting to see what the average tax refund amounts to once the 2022 filing season is wrapped up. But so far, it seems like the average refund recipient is in for a decent pile of cash.

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