ABC News' Karen Travers reports:
Vice President Biden announced today that the average tax American refund is up nearly 10 percent because of tax benefits from last year's Recovery Act.
The stimulus act had tax credits and savings aimed at working families, first-time home buyers, Americans making energy-efficient improvements on their homes, and people who purchased a new car last year.
IRS Commission Douglas Shulman said that the average tax refund this year is $3,036, up $266 from a year ago. Shulman credited the Recovery Act as a “major factor” behind the increase.
“For many taxpayers, this will be the biggest check that they see all year,” Shulman said.
Biden said that this new data is “welcome news for an awful lot of Americans” and the tax refund checks will not just be a boost to their bank accounts.
“For hardworking folks, this extra cash in their pockets in tight times can make an astounding difference in terms of their attitudes as well,” the vice president said.
The Obama Administration said today that IRS data shows that less than half of the overall expected returns have been filed so they are announcing this today to make sure that taxpayers are aware of the new benefits available.
“About half of all Americans haven't filed their taxes yet, so we urge them to look carefully at these Recovery provisions,” Shulman said. “Taxpayers should also remember that the fastest, best way to get their tax refund is by filing electronically with direct deposit.”
Biden said the goal of the Obama Administration when it took office was not to just rebuild the economy but rebuild the middle class.
“The middle class took a shellacking the last two decades, particularly from 2000 to 2007,” the vice president said. “We’re going to measure the recovery at the end of the day based on how many folks are in the middle class, how many gained access, and how many are secure in being able to stay in the middle class.”