Individual tax refunds this year have been slightly smaller than last year. At the end of last month, the amount of money the government refunded was $6 billion below this time last year, according to IRS figures. As of March 29, the Treasury had issued 71.8 million refunds. This time a year ago it had issued 73.4 million. The average refund, at $2,873, is only $20 less than it was last year.