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Home Computer E-File Usage Grows in 2007

IR-2007-49, March 2, 2007

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that taxpayers are continuing to file their tax returns electronically from home computers at a record pace, up almost 7 percent from the same period last year.

“People using home computers are helping e-file grow this year," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. “Taxpayers can rely on e-file as a safe, accurate way to quickly finish their taxes and get a refund. For those who haven’t filed, they should make sure to request the telephone excise tax refund if they are eligible.”

Overall, e-file has increased by nearly 4 percent since last year.  In addition to a 7 percent increase in self-prepared electronically filed returns, e-filed returns from tax professionals climbed by more than 2 percent.

So far this tax filing season, 78 percent of all returns have been e-filed, compared to 76 percent for the same period last year. As of last Friday, 30 percent of e-filed returns were filed by people using their home computers, up from 29 percent of e-filed returns for the same period last year.

Also, more people than ever before are opting to have their refunds directly deposited into their financial accounts. So far this year, the IRS has directly deposited almost 32 million refunds, or 82 percent of all refunds issued this tax filing season, up from 80 percent of the total for the same period last year.

People are also visiting the IRS's Web site in record numbers. The IRS has recorded almost 68 million unique visits to IRS.gov this year, up from 62 million for the same period last year, an increase of 9.0 percent.

In addition, this year’s filings show about three in 10 tax returns are not requesting the one-time telephone tax refund. Although some of these taxpayers may not be eligible, others may qualify and not know it. The IRS urges taxpayers to check their eligibility for this special refund by visiting the Telephone Excise Tax Refund section on IRS.gov.

The government stopped collecting the long-distance excise tax last August after several federal court decisions held that the tax does not apply to long-distance service as it is billed today. Federal officials also authorized a one-time refund of the 3 percent federal excise tax collected on service billed during the previous 41 months, stretching from the beginning of March 2003 to the end of July 2006. The tax continues to apply to local-only phone service.

Of those requesting the telephone tax refund, 99 percent are choosing the standard amount, and the rest are basing their request on the actual amount of tax paid. The standard amount ranges from $30 to $60 and is based on the number of exemptions a taxpayer is eligible to claim on their return. Alternatively, taxpayers can request a refund, based on the tax shown on their phone bills and other records.

2007 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

Cumulative through the weeks ending 2/24/06 and 2/23/07

 

2006

2007

% Change

Individual Income Tax Returns:

 

 

 

Total Receipts

          46,180,000

             46,284,000

0.2

Total Processed

           41,422,000

                41,905,000

1.2

E-filing Receipts:

 

 

 

TOTAL

34,973,000

36,233,000

3.7

Tax Professionals

24,808,000

25,363,000

2.2

Self-prepared

10,166,000

10,870,000

6.9

Web Usage:

 

 

 

Visits to IRS.gov

62,364,000

67,954,000

9.0

Total Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

37,974,000

38,622,000

1.71

Amount

$96.875 Billion

$102.552  Billion

5.86

Average refund

$2,551

$2,655

4.08

Direct Deposit Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

30,201,000

31,586,000

4.59

Amount

$84.431 Billion

$91.262 Billion

8.09

Average refund

$2,796

$2,889

3.35

 

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Aug-2012