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Line of used cars at an auto dealership. Source: Shutterstock.

A big reason used car sales slowed in March was because the IRS has been late in getting tax refunds to households, a Cox Automotive economist said Thursday.

Jonathan Smoke, Cox Automotive’s chief economist, said tax refunds usually make March the biggest month of the year for used car sales. By the end of March, the IRS had sent out 45% of refunds, compared with 71% at the end of the 12th week of 2019.

Jim DuPlessis

A journalist for decades.

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