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Income-tax refunds taking their sweet time

Updated: March 25, 2012 8:12AM

Taxpayers are continuing to wait longer than usual to receive their federal income-tax refunds from the IRS.

In the past, most taxpayers who filed their tax returns electronically got their refunds in one to two weeks, says Gene King, a spokesman for H&R Block. This year, it’s usually taking 10 to 21 days, he says.

That’s still within the historical time frame for delivery of refunds, says Michelle Eldridge, an Internal Revenue Service spokeswoman.

The agency blames the delays on new safeguards installed in its computers to prevent refund fraud.

Through Feb. 16, the IRS issued 34.8 million refunds worth $110.9 billion. During the same period in 2011, the IRS issued 36.1 million refunds totaling $115.3 billion. The average refund this year: $3,183.

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