Federal tax refunds are putting a little extra money in people's pockets this year.
According to statistics released today by the Internal Revenue Service, the average federal tax refund totaled $3,036, an increase of $266 compared with the same period a year ago.
Credit the extra dough, at least in part, to a number of federal tax incentives enacted last year as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including the home buyer credit and sales and excise tax deductions for new car buyers.
So far, the number of tax returns filed through March 12 is down slightly over the same time period last year. In other data, more than 82 percent of the 69 million returns received this year have come in via electronic filing.