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Last year, individuals in Utah paid $18.1 billion in federal income tax — about $6,036 for every man, woman and child living here.

That's according to the IRS Data Book for fiscal year 2015 released this week, just before tax returns are due on April 18.

The amount of taxes that Utah individuals paid increased by $1.92 billion from the previous year, or 12 percent. Utahns had paid a total of $16.19 billion in 2014.

That increase is a sign of a growing economy, and shows that Utahns earned more taxable income in 2015.

The new data show that Utah individuals filed 1.12 million individual returns last year, and 988,936 of them received refunds.

The tax agency paid out $2.69 billion in refunds to Utah individuals. That means the average refund, for those who received one, was about $900. The book also reports that income tax paid by Utah businesses totaled $1.31 billion in 2015. That was actually a decrease from $1.56 billion in 2014.

Nationally in fiscal year 2015, the IRS collected more than $3.3 trillion, processed more than 243 million tax returns and other forms, and issued more than $403 billion in tax refunds

The IRS also advised that free tax assistance is still available for Utahns whose annual income is less than $54,000, or who are seniors, disabled or speak English as a second language.

That help comes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Its volunteers are certified to prepare basic tax returns, including checking for credits and deductions. Taxpayers served may be eligible to file electronically at no charge.

Locations of free tax help sites are available online at"> For appointments and more information, call 211 or 1-888-826-9790.