Based on Treasury Department records from the past three years, refunds paid during January, February and March combined have ranged from $117 billion to $136 billion.
Government spending: Unless lawmakers avert the so-called sequester, a series of automatic cuts will reduce the budgets of most federal agencies and programs by 8% to 10%.
But that doesn't necessarily mean those cuts would have to occur immediately, according to a former official with the Office of Management and Budget.
Both the White House budget office and federal agencies themselves will have some latitude to postpone the cuts from occurring "for several weeks if necessary," added OMB Watch, a group that monitors the federal budget.
The White House Budget Office did not respond to questions from CNNMoney.
Doctors' pay: Absent a fiscal cliff deal that includes a so-called "doc fix," Medicare physicians are facing a nearly 27% cut in their payments for treating Medicare patients.
But here again there may be a few weeks' grace period for Congress to change its mind and reverse the cut. That's because a claim submitted will be paid no less than two weeks after it's received.
Unemployment benefits: A federal extension of unemployment benefits is set to expire. If Congress does not renew it, workers who lost their jobs after July 1, 2012, will only receive up to 26 weeks in state unemployment benefits, down from as many as 73 weeks in state and federal benefits that have been available in 2012. As a result, more than 2 million of the long-term unemployed will run out of benefits in January, according to the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group.
If Congress chooses early next year to keep the extension in place, and makes the extension retroactive, then many of the 2 million who fell off the rolls may be paid retroactively, said Rick McHugh, a NELP staff attorney.