WASHINGTON (AP) -- That nice Internal Revenue Service refund check many families eagerly await this time of year is down slightly from 2011 but not too shabby: An average of about $3,000.
IRS chief Douglas H. Shulman has told a House subcommittee that through March 10, his agency issued 59.2 million refunds totaling $174.4 billion. That compares to 59 million refunds totaling $178.3 billion a year ago.
Based on those figures, this year's checks average $2,946, down slightly from last year's $3,022.
Shulman also told the House panel that through March 10, the IRS has processed almost 71 million individual returns, a small increase.
Nearly 26 million filers prepared their own electronic returns, an 11 percent jump from 2011.
And the agency has directly deposited 51 million refunds to taxpayers, up 3 percent.