Recovery Act boosts tax refunds by 10 percent

Tax refunds have jumped nearly 10 percent because of the tax breaks contained in last year's stimulus bill, the White House announced on Monday.

Vice President Joe Biden joined Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman to announce the increase in refunds and launch a Web tool aimed at helping the middle-class better understand the tax breaks included in the stimulus bill. 

"The big guys know all the credits and deductions to claim during tax season, but we want middle-class families to know just how much is out there for them this year thanks to the Recovery Act -- and how to take advantage of it," Biden said in prepared remarks. 

Data collected by the IRS shows the average tax refund for 2009 increased by more than $260, which is a 9.6 percent increase over refunds from the 2008 tax year.

The administration will take this message on the road and hold a series of events across the country to promote the tax benefits included in the stimulus bill.