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What you can buy with an average IRS tax refund

It's that time of year again, when Americans hunker down with their accountants and file taxes, hoping they're entitled to a refund.

The IRS reported receiving 145,329,000 tax returns from Americans in 2017. Of those, the IRS issued 108,761,000 refunds totaling $302 billion, or an average of $2,782.

If that payout stays the same for 2018, quite a few Americans will have extra money in their pockets. Here are some ideas of how to use it.

Around 2 shares of Amazon stock

If you wanted to invest the refund in
Photo Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

If you wanted to invest the refund in the stock market, you could purchase close to two shares of Amazon stock, which traded on NASDAQ at a recent high of $1,498 per share.

About half a bitcoin

For those who would like to enter the
Photo Credit: AP / Kin Cheung

For those who would like to enter the riskier cryptocurrency market, the average 2017 IRS refund would get nearly half a bitcoin, which has traded as low as $6,000 in recent days.

More money

Any financial planner will tell you the best
Photo Credit: AP / Jon Elswick

Any financial planner will tell you the best way to spend your refund is to invest it. Even a conservative 6 percent return compounded annually would mean the average $2,782 refund would be worth $4,982 after 10 years, $8,922 after 20 and $15,978 after 30 years -- nearly six times the original investment.

2 iPhone Xs and an iPhone 8

If you want to get Apple's latest iPhone,
Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

If you want to get Apple's latest iPhone, you can buy the 64GB model of the iPhone X for $999, meaning you can get two with the average refund and still have enough left over for a $699 iPhone 8 -- before taxes and other accessories, of course.

Almost 3 Super Bowl LII tickets

If you received your refund before the Super
Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

If you received your refund before the Super Bowl and were fortunate enough to be able to buy the cheapest tickets at face value, your refund plus $68 would have bought you three $950 tickets to the big game in Minneapolis. Of course, if you had to go via the resale market, you would have needed your refund and another $2,016 just to get yourself in the door, according to StubHub's average ticket price for the game.

About 14 'Hamilton' tickets

If you want to see
Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

If you want to see "Hamilton" on Broadway, the average $2,782 refund would buy you just under 14 regularly-priced $199 tickets. If you opted for premium seating during the holidays, however, you'd only be able to afford two at $1,150 each, according to Variety.

Airline tickets

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, you
Photo Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, you could buy eight domestic airline tickets out of Islip with the average IRS 2017 refund, seven tickets out of JFK Airport, and nine out of LaGuardia, based on the third quarter of 2017 pricing.

1,070 gallons of gas

If you'd prefer to do your traveling on
Photo Credit: AP / Gene J. Puskar

If you'd prefer to do your traveling on the ground, the average IRS refund would buy 1,070 gallons of gas priced at $2.60 a gallon, the nationwide average according to AAA on Feb. 7, 2018.

Preparing for 2019

According to CBS MarketWatch, the average cost to
Photo Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

According to CBS MarketWatch, the average cost to have an accountant do a 1040 return with a state return and no itemized deductions was $159, so you and 17 friends could have their simple taxes done with the amount of an average IRS refund from 2017.

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