$1.4 billion in unclaimed funds set to disappear

Tax refunds are $3 smaller on average versus last year after seventh week of filing season

The average tax refund is $3 lower than a year ago after the seventh week of filing season, the Internal Revenue Service reported Thursday.      

» RELATED: Haven’t filed your taxes yet? Here’s how to file for an extension    

The average tax refund issued so far is $2,957 for the week ending March 15, down 0.1 percent from $2,960 at the same time last year. The IRS has issued nearly 59.9 million total refunds, down 1.82 million – or 3 percent – from last year.      

The agency has processed 73.5 million returns, about 2.4 percent fewer than last year at this time. The IRS has received 75.9 million returns in total. It expects to get 150 million returns for the year.          

Tax experts say refunds could be smaller for people who didn’t adjust their paycheck withholdings after the new tax law changes last year. In some cases, taxpayers who got refunds in past years may end up owing the government instead.          

These outcomes don’t mean Americans are paying more in total taxes for the year. In many cases, the tax savings showed up in each paycheck during the year.          

Contributing: Janna Herron

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.