10 States With the Lowest Average Tax Refunds

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

It’s about that time when a swarm of taxpayers will start sending their returns into the IRS. And if you’re like around three-fourths of taxpayers, you’ll be looking forward to receiving a refund. With the average refund reaching around $2,700 last year, this can be enough money to pay off credit cards, pay down debts, or make a relatively major purchase.

Also, earned income credit — which ends up being a major factor that impacts millions of taxpayer refunds — averaged over $2,400 last year. Families of four who have an adjusted gross income of under $49,186 ($20,020 for a couple with no children) may qualify for the credit, and a lot of taxpayers fall into that category.

In some states, however, taxpayers receive higher or lower average refunds (and earned income credit) than in others.

These are the states where taxpayers historically received the lowest average refunds:

State Average Refund Average Refund (all taxpayers, refund or not)
1. Montana $2,322.07 $1,822.43
2. Maine $2,323.72 $1,934.29
3. Vermont $2,331.14 $1,907.40
4. North Dakota $2,404.86 $1,859.83
5. Oregon $2,440.38 $1,947.68
6. Wisconsin $2,462.89 $2,015.08
7. Nebraska $2,507.84 $2,036.36
8. Hawaii $2,530.18 $2,054.54
9. Minnesota $2,530.55 $2,032.12
10. Ohio $2,540.88 $2,158.33
All figures are from 2011 tax year Source: IRS and Governing

In these states, taxpayers received the lowest average amounts of earned income tax credit last tax season:

State Number of EITC Claims Total EITC Amount Average EITC Amount
1. Vermont 45,000 $86 M $1,894
2. New Hampshire 79,000 $153 M $1,926
3. Maine 102,000 $207 M $2,035
4. Wyoming 39,000 $79.5 M $2,038
5. Alaska 49,000 $99.5 M $2,049
6. Massachusetts 406,000 $833 M $2,050
7. North Dakota 43,000 $87.3 M $2,051
8. Montana 80,000 $168 M $2,096
9. Oregon 279,000 $586 M $2,101
10. Minnesota 344,000 $732 M $2,124
All figures from 2013 tax year Source: IRS

You may notice how a few states, like Vermont, Maine, and Minnesota, are on both lists. This trend also applied with the highest-refund states, and quite a few of the states with the top 10 highest-refunds also had the highest average earned income credit as well.

Here’s a state-by-state breakdown, indicating the average tax return (for those taxpayers who received a refund and for all taxpayers), and the average earned income credit:

State Average Refund Average Refund for all taxpayers Average Earned Income Tax Credit
Montana $2,322.07 $1,822.43 $2,096
Maine $2,323.72 $1,934.29 $2,035
Vermont $2,331.14 $1,907.40 $1,894
North Dakota $2,404.86 $1,859.83 $2,051
Oregon $2,440.38 $1,947.68 $2,101
Wisconsin $2,462.89 $2,015.08 $2,167
Nebraska $2,507.84 $2,036.36 $2,271
Hawaii $2,530.18 $2,054.54 $2,175
Minnesota $2,530.55 $2,032.12 $2,124
Ohio $2,540.88 $2,158.33 $2,364
Iowa $2,543.51 $2,070.43 $2,182
South Dakota $2,549.59 $2,037.35 $2,143
West Virginia $2,550.79 $2,209.74 $2,211
Idaho $2,567.76 $2,114.99 $2,283
Michigan $2,569.68 $2,133.69 $2,387
Kansas $2,599.04 $2,094.70 $2,307
New Hampshire $2,602.62 $2,165.33 $1,926
South Carolina $2,603.19 $2,192.56 $2,504
Missouri $2,612.09 $2,171.12 $2,377
Pennsylvania $2,617.92 $2,215.85 $2,185
Rhode Island $2,638.62 $2,271.02 $2,264
New Mexico $2,642.41 $2,193.81 $2,405
Indiana $2,648.83 $2,276.31 $2,346
North Carolina $2,666.86 $2,225.65 $2,462
Kentucky $2,667.99 $2,301.52 $2,351
Delaware $2,686.28 $2,274.70 $2,309
Arkansas $2,709.60 $2,290.98 $2,552
Alaska $2,737.60 $2,184.81 $2,049
Colorado $2,743.68 $2,216.17 $2,174
Washington $2,788.51 $2,326.29 $2,145
Arizona $2,793.66 $2,311.82 $2,530
Tennessee $2,794.80 $2,428.81 $2,492
Oklahoma $2,795.14 $2,313.24 $2,449
Virginia $2,811.11 $2,361.26 $2,287
Massachusetts $2,816.38 $2,295.45 $2,050
District of Columbia $2,853.43 $2,394.30 $2,316
Georgia $2,857.57 $2,482.23 $2,692
Alabama $2,871.49 $2,454.28 $2,732
Wyoming $2,883.44 $2,395.72 $2,038
Maryland $2,893.51 $2,412.28 $2,297
Utah $2,904.60 $2,502.20 $2,320
California $2,909.18 $2,376.91 $2,373
Florida $2,917.33 $2,542.09 $2,450
Mississippi $2,930.94 $2,517.17 $2,817
Illinois $2,957.87 $2,513.20 $2,437
Louisiana $3,005.67 $2,560.62 $2,741
New York $3,070.70 $2,575.63 $2,309
New Jersey $3,099.10 $2,560.26 $2,281
Texas $3,112.33 $2,687.68 $2,661
Nevada $3,192.43 $2,749.03 $2,372
Connecticut $3,217.71 $2,650.88 $2,140
Sources: IRS and Governing

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