States With the Biggest Tax Refunds

  • Uncle Sam Pays Who?

    Last year, the Internal Revenue Service returned more than $332.8 billion to people who filed an individual income tax return. This means that, on average, taxpayers received a $2,690 check from Uncle Sam in 2010, a figure that we’re on course to meet again in 2011. Preliminary statistics released by the IRS late last week have the average tax return hovering around $3,129 this year, but those numbers tend to go down as April 15 approaches and more people file. At this time last year, the average was a bit higher at $3,149. In sifting through last year’s statistics, MainStreet wondered if one state was more likely to get back more money than others. Using IRS data from the 2009 tax year, we divided the amount of individual income tax refund dollars received in each state by the number of individual tax returns filed there to get the average refund given in every state. Read on to find out if you live in a state that has tax filers that collected the highest – or lowest – average refund from the government in 2009. We’ll tackle the 10 states with the lowest refunds first and then look at who made out best for tax refunds last year. Photo Credit: Diana Cordell
    10th Smallest Average Refund: South Dakota
  • 10th Smallest Average Refund: South Dakota

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 321,538 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $747,393 Average Refund per Person: $2,324 Photo Credit:  Pink Sherbert Photography
    9th Smallest Refund: Hawaii
  • 9th Smallest Refund: Hawaii

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 561,241 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $1,302,790 Average Refund per Person: $2,321 Photo Credit:  www.bluewaikiki.com
    8th Smallest Refund: Nebraska
  • 8th Smallest Refund: Nebraska

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 715,961 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $1,660,003 Average Refund per Person: $2,319 Photo Credit: Kables
    7th Smallest Refund: Alaska
  • 7th Smallest Refund: Alaska

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 267,141 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $618,513 Average Refund per Person: $2,315 Photo Credit:  Alaskan Dude
    6th Smallest Refund: Wisconsin
  • 6th Smallest Refund: Wisconsin

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 2,335,626 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $5,405,690 Average Refund per Person: $2,314 Photo Credit: barcar
    5th Smallest Refund: North Dakota
  • 5th Smallest Refund: North Dakota

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 257,557 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $588,629 Average Refund per Person: $2,285 Photo Credit:  afiler
    4th Smallest Refund: West Virginia
  • 4th Smallest Refund: West Virginia

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 701,936 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $1,580,252 Average Refund per Person: $2,251 Photo Credit:  Stella Blu
    3rd Smallest Refund: Vermont
  • 3rd Smallest Refund: Vermont

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 268,981 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $597,855 Average Refund per Person: $2,223 Photo Credit: Bruce Tuten
    2nd Smallest Refund: Maine
  • 2nd Smallest Refund: Maine

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 551,147 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $1,192,024 Average Refund per Person: $2,163 Photo Credit: Fortes
    State with the Smallest Refund: Montana
  • State with the Smallest Refund: Montana

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 390,645 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $838,104 Average Refund per Person: $2,145 Photo Credit:  gene1138
    10th Largest Refund: Illinois
  • 10th Largest Refund: Illinois

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 5,317,904 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $14,955,215 Average Refund per Person: $2,812 Photo Credit: laffy4k
    9th Largest Refund: New York
  • 9th Largest Refund: New York

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 7,896,076 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $22,281,025 Average Refund per Person: $2,822 Photo Credit:  video4net
    8th Largest Refund: Texas
  • 8th Largest Refund: Texas

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 9,576,956 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $27,139,650 Average Refund per Person: $2,834 Photo Credit: Paul Garland
    7th Largest Refund: California
  • 7th Largest Refund: California

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 13,951,427 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $39,928,472 Average Refund per Person: $2,862 Photo Credit: tensaibuta
    6th Largest Refund: Washington, D.C.
  • 6th Largest Refund: Washington, D.C.

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 261,974 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $752,070 Average Refund per Person: $2,881 Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon
    5th Largest Refund: Florida
  • 5th Largest Refund: Florida

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 7,858,774 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $23,009,119 Average Refund per Person: $2,928 Photo Credit:  shutterbug fotos
    4th Largest Refund: New Jersey
  • 4th Largest Refund: New Jersey

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 3,646,427 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $10,825,688 Average Refund per Person: $2,969 Photo Credit: shanafin
    3rd Largest Refund: Connecticut
  • 3rd Largest Refund: Connecticut

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 1,476,212 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $4,439,106 Average Refund per Person: $3,007 Photo Credit:  cliff1060
    2nd Largest Refund: Wyoming
  • 2nd Largest Refund: Wyoming

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 234,202 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $721,430 Average Refund per Person: $3,080 Photo Credit:  Whatleydude
    State with the Largest Refund: Nevada
  • State with the Largest Refund: Nevada

    Number of Individual Income Tax Returns Filed: 1,125,764 Amount of Individual Income Tax Refund Dollars Received: $3,483,981 Average Refund per Person: $3,094 Photo Credit:  matze_ott
    13 Common Tax Mistakes
  • 13 Common Tax Mistakes

    Filing your own taxes this year? MainStreet put together some tips for how you can ensure that things go smoothly. For starters, read about the 13 common mistakes that many Americans make when preparing this returns or just check out our taxes hot topic for all the latest tips and tricks to maximize your refund! Photo Credit: Getty Images
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