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Trends Show Last-minute Tax Filers Using E-file More

IR-2007-80, April 6, 2007

WASHINGTON — With electronic filing running at a record pace, new Internal Revenue Service data released today shows more and more taxpayers are using e-file in advance of the April 17 tax deadline than in years past.

Historically, most e-file returns have come in during the early part of the tax season as taxpayers expecting big refunds use the service to get their refunds quickly. But new statistics show that a trend that appeared in recent years is growing this year, as more late filers abandon paper in favor of e-file. Traditionally, more late filers owe the government money and have more often used paper tax returns than e-file.

New statistics also show an increasing number of taxpayers are paying what they owe electronically — by credit card or direct debit.

“Electronic filing is more than just a quick refund,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. “E-file is a great option for last-minute filers, because the IRS verifies that it has received your return. People who file electronically make fewer mistakes, too. That can give you real peace of mind when you’re rushing to meet the deadline.”

New IRS statistics show that while e-file is up for this year, the increase was even more significant during the month of March. Here are some of the highlights, based on statistics through March 30:

  • Overall, nearly 57 million returns have already been e-filed this year, up 5.9 percent over last year at this time. Nearly one-third of those returns were e-filed during March alone, up more than 10 percent over last March.

  • More than 16 million taxpayers have e-filed their returns from their home computers this year, an 8.3 percent increase over last year at this time. A quarter of them were e-filed in March, up 11 percent over last March.

  • The average refund this year is $2,394, up from $2,314 last year.

  • So far this year, the IRS has received nearly 4 million e-filed returns showing a balance due, up 7.6 percent over last year at this time.

More information about electronic payment options can be found on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov.

In addition, the IRS urges all taxpayers with incomes at or below $52,000 to file their returns for free using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Telephone customers can also use Free File to request this year’s one-time telephone excise tax refund.

2007 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

Cumulative through the weeks ending 3/31/06 and 3/30/07

Individual Income Tax Returns

2006

2007

% Change

Total Receipts

79,979,000

80,800,000

1.0%

Total Processed

75,697,000

77,171,000

1.9%

 

E-filing Receipts: 

 

 

 

TOTAL

53,797,000

56,994,000

5.9%

Tax Professionals

38,951,000

40,910,000

5.0%

Self-prepared

14,846,000

16,084,000

8.3%

  

 

Web Usage: 

 

 

 

Visits to IRS.gov

95,406,000

103,780,000

8.8%

 

Total Refunds: 

 

 

 

Number

66,710,000

68,274,000

2.3%

Amount

$154.388

Billion

$163.431

Billion

5.9%

Average refund

$2,314

$2,394

3.4%

  

Direct Deposit Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

44,572,000

47,339,000

6.2%

Amount

$118.873

Billion

$130.331

Billion

9.6%

Average refund

$2,667

$2,753

3.2%

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Aug-2012