The Internal Revenue Service is far behind the 2012 pace for mailing out income tax refunds and the “Fiscal Cliff” is being blamed. Through February 3, 2013 the IRS has sent out only $4.3 billion in refunds. That’s far behind the $26.9 billion in refunds issued at this time in 2012. Going all the way back to 2005, the IRS has normally mailed $30 to $40 billion in refunds by this point. The delay is an unwelcome byproduct of Congress’ standoff over the so called “Fiscal Cliff”.
Aside from the annoyance for people waiting for their refunds, the delay could weigh heavily on the economy in the early part of 2013. About 58% of the 80 million filers get back refunds each year with the average refund is approximately $2,900. Delays are being caused by the fact that the IRS didn’t start accepting returns until January 30. Also some of the forms for more complicated returns are not ready yet. The IRS has mentioned that they have been grappling with security issues which have slowed them down. So don’t worry if you haven’t received your expected income tax refund, most people haven’t.