UPDATE 1-White House says stimulus plan boosts tax refunds

(Adds quotes from IRS commissioner)

WASHINGTON, March 22 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama’s
U.S. economic stimulus plan is increasing average tax refunds
to Americans by about $260, a roughly 10 percent rise over the
previous year, the White House said on Monday.

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Schulman said
the federal government had paid out some $175 billion in
refunds through March 12 with the average refund coming in at
$3,036.

“For many taxpayers, this will be the biggest check that
they see all year,” Schulman told reporters.

The event, which was also attended Vice President Joe Biden
and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is the first of a
series by administration officials stressing the benefits of
the Recovery Act stimulus plan before the April 15 tax filing
deadline.

The plan included tax relief for middle class citizens.

“A major factor in these larger refund numbers has been the
Recovery Act,” Schulman said.

Schulman said the refund totals would increase in the weeks
and months ahead because roughly half of U.S. taxpayers had not
yet filed their returns.

Republicans have criticized the Democratic president’s $787
billion economic stimulus plan, signed by Obama in February
2009, as a waste of money that has failed to help average
Americans.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Jeff Mason; Editing
by Cynthia Osterman)

UPDATE 1-White House says stimulus plan boosts tax refunds