By Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal
The Mississippi Department of Revenue has processed and mailed 502,351 tax refunds as of Monday, and taxpayers are getting smaller refunds.
Kathy Waterbury, a spokeswoman for the agency, said that by the end of the year, the department will issue 750,000 and 800,000 returns.
Waterbury said the average return is $393, down slightly from last year’s average $422. She said the average has edged down slightly for the past several years. The average state refund was $451 in 2011 and $464 in 2010.
In total, the state has paid about $198 million this year. Waterbury said the department is slightly behind on its processing because e-filers submit their state and federal returns directly to the IRS, which then sends the returns to the state.
The IRS is running behind schedule because Congress failed to meet tax legislation deadlines earlier this year. Waterbury said the delay is no cause for concern because the state will catch up over the next two weeks.
Mississippi ranks in the top 10 states in the nation for its occurrence of taxpayers who file electronically.