Welcome to Tax Season 2022, Pa. | The Numbers Racket

Americans spend an estimated 8 billion hours preparing tax returns each year, with the average American spending 12 hours filing a tax return as of 2021

By: - January 24, 2022 6:30 am

Photo by pxHere.com

Tax procrastinators, rejoice! 

The Internal Revenue Service announced earlier this month that this year’s filing deadline will be April 18, instead of the pre-pandemic April 15 filing deadline. 

Now that you have some time before you have to organize your receipts, pay stubs and other tax information, let’s take a look at tax season by the numbers. 

Fast Facts

Americans spend an estimated 8 billion hours preparing tax returns each year, with the average American spending 12 hours filing a tax return as of 2021. 

Given the lengthy preparation time, 90 percent of returns are expected to be filed electronically, according to a 2021 report from Wallethub, a personal finance website. 

With a seven week turnaround on paper returns, 92 percent of refunds are paid through direct deposit, the report found. Ninety percent of refunds are issued within 21 days or less, according to Wallethub. 

The IRS

95 percent of all federal revenue is brought in by the IRS. 

The IRS has seen a 35 percent decrease in enforcement staff since 2010. Another 40 percent of IRS workers will be eligible to retire by 2024, Wallethub reports. 

The report found that 771,000 tax returns get audited each year by the IRS. In case you are wondering what the odds are: you have a 0.4 percent chance of being audited by the IRS, according to 2021 data. 

Tax Code

A whopping 5,900 changes were made to the tax code between 2001 and 2016, Wallethub reports. Six hundred of which occurred as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

As a result of the TCJA, 65 percent of Americans saw their taxes decline. However, 74 percent of Americans say those cuts haven’t helped them financially. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.

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