IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

Free File Tops Last Year's Total

IR-2005-36, March 23, 2005


WASHINGTON —The Internal Revenue Service announced today that more people have used Free File this year than for all of last year. As of March 16, 3.55 million tax returns have gone through Free File, up 44 percent compared to the same time last year and exceeding last year’s total of 3.51 million.

"This is another record-setting year for Free File," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "The success of Free File reflects a broader increase in the overall e-file program. People like the ease and convenience of filing electronically."

Electronic filing continues to show a strong increase, with e-filed tax returns running almost 7 percent ahead of last year. The biggest increase is being seen in home computer use, which is up almost 15 percent.

The IRS and a consortium of tax software manufacturers offer free services through Free File, which is available at IRS.gov. Free File is in its third year.

People e-filed 45.9 million returns through March 18 – up almost 3 million over last year’s numbers.

Out of 67 million returns filed as of March 18, 68 percent of them were e-filed – up from 63 percent the previous year. While this percentage will decline as April 15 approaches, the IRS expects for the first time to have more than half of all individual tax returns filed electronically.

Record numbers of individuals are choosing to have their refunds directly deposited into their bank accounts. So far this year, 66 percent of all refunds are through direct deposit – up from 62 percent over the same period last year.

Taxpayers who e-file and choose direct deposit get their refunds in half the time of those who file a paper return. Even paper filers, however, can get the benefit of direct deposit by choosing that option on their tax forms; they will get their refunds a week sooner than waiting for a paper check.

2005 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

Cumulative through the week ending

3/19/04 and 3/18/05

 

2004

2005

% Change

Individual Income Tax Returns

Total Receipts

68,183,000

67,377,000

-1.2

Total Processed

63,221,000

63,455,000

  0.4

E-filing Receipts:

TOTAL

43,049,000

45,936,000

  6.7

TeleFile (phone)

2,972,000

2,543,000

-14.4

Computer

40,077,000

43,393,000

  8.3

Tax Professionals

30,197,000

32,064,000

  6.2

Self-prepared

9,880,000

11,329,000

14.7

Tax Year 2004 Refunds Certified:

Number

57,516,000

57,158,000

-0.6

Amount

$122.373 billion

$129.116 billion

  5.5

Average

$2,128

$2,259

  6.2

Direct Deposit Refunds

Number

33,918,000

37,949,000

  5.7

Amount

$89.001 billion

$99.208 billion

11.5

Average

$2,478

$2,614

  5.5

Subscribe to IRS Newswire

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Aug-2012