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Visits to IRS.gov Up Sharply as Taxpayers Go Online to Get Tax Information

Jan. 5, 2010 — Obsoleted links to some items have been deleted.

IR-2009-31, March 31, 2009

 

WASHINGTON — The number of visitors to IRS.gov is up more than 24 percent compared with last year, and more taxpayers rely on the Internal Revenue Service’s online resources to get answers to tax questions on the economic recovery legislation and to prepare and file tax returns accurately and timely.

More than 138 million taxpayers already visited the IRS Web site this year, up from about 111 million from the same period last year.

Taxpayers can find the latest information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, including details on extending health insurance for people who lost their jobs and tax breaks for first-time homebuyers. IRS also has developed “What if” scenarios and the possible tax implications for people who may be facing financially difficult times. Taxpayers periodically should check for updates to these pages.

Some IRS online publications contain hyperlinks allowing users to get the answers they need quickly. The links allow users to jump immediately to other parts of publications and external Web sites, reducing the time it takes to access information.

A total of 14 publications contain tailored hyperlinks that provide easier access, including Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, and Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, was issued for the first time with hyperlinks last year, and the new version now has more links than ever before. Publication 17 also is available online in Spanish for the first time.

Available on IRS.gov this year is a new on-line tool that allows taxpayers to complete tax forms, perform basic mathematical calculations and e-file their federal income tax returns free of charge. Free File Fillable Forms is most suited for those who prepare their own paper returns without the assistance of a tax return preparer or tax preparation software. There are no income limitations to use Free File Fillable Forms, and the most commonly-used federal tax forms are available.

Also available to taxpayers is Free File, which provides taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $56,000 or less in 2008 with free federal income tax preparation and electronic filing. Free File is free, fast and accurate.

Taxpayers also can download IRS audio podcasts on a variety of topics in English and Spanish. Video tax tips are also available.

Other electronic tools can be found on IRS.gov. Highlights include the following:

  • Where’s My Refund? — Whether taxpayers opted for direct deposit or asked the IRS to mail a check, they can track their refund through the Where’s My Refund? tool.

  • The Recovery Rebate Credit Calculator —The recovery rebate credit is a one-time benefit for people who didn't receive the full economic stimulus payment last year and whose circumstances may have changed, making them eligible now for some or all of the unpaid portion of the credit. In most cases, taxpayers who received the full amount of the stimulus payment last year will not be eligible for it this year. The recovery rebate credit can be calculated using the online tool, Recovery Rebate Credit Calculator.

  • How Much Was My 2008 Stimulus Payment? — Taxpayers will need to know the amount of their 2008 economic stimulus payment to calculate the recovery rebate credit. Taxpayers can use the online tool, How Much Was My 2008 Stimulus Payment?, to check how much their payment was in 2008. Taxpayers don't need to report the 2008 stimulus payment as income because it’s not taxable.
  • EITC Assistant — The earned income tax credit is a substantial credit for people who work but don’t earn a lot of money. Find out if you are eligible for the EITC by answering some questions and providing basic income information using the online EITC Assistant.

 

Taxpayers looking for the IRS online should type www.irs.gov into their Internet browser. Taxpayers should also beware of Web sites that may resemble IRS.gov but end in .com, .net, .org, .biz or any other domain name extension.

 

Also available is IRS.gov/Español, the IRS Web site offering tax forms, publications and information in Spanish. Interactive tools such as the following are available for individuals: EITC Assistant, (Asistente EITC); Free File(Presentacion FreeFile) Where’s My Refund? (¿Dónde Está Mi Reembolso?), How Much Was My 2008 Stimulus Payment (¿Cuánto fue mi Pago del Estímulo Económico?) and Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) Calculator (Calculadora para el Crédito por Recuperación de la Devolución de Estímulo Económico.)

 

2009 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

Cumulative through the weeks ending 3/21/08 and 3/20/09

Individual Income Tax Returns

2008

2009

% Change

Total Receipts

78,792,000

77,623,000

-1.5%

Total Processed

74,139,000

74,806,000

0.9%

 

 

 

 

E-filing Receipts:

 

 

 

TOTAL

57,745,000

61,272,000

6.1%

Tax Professionals

40,040,000

40,006,000

-0.1%

Self-prepared

17,705,000

21,265,000

20.1%

 

 

 

 

Web Usage:

 

 

 

Visits to IRS.gov

110,570,000

137,596,000

24.4%

 

 

 

 

Total Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

64,725,000

66,893,000

3.3%

Amount

$161.276

Billion

$183.307

Billion

13.7%

Average refund

$2,492

$2,740

10.0%

 

 

 

 

Direct Deposit Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

48,015,000

52,072,000

8.5%

Amount

$133.495

Billion

$155.952

Billion

16.8%

Average refund

$2,780

$2,995

7.7%

 

 

2009 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

Cumulative through the weeks ending 3/14/08 and 3/13/09

Individual Income Tax Returns

2008

2009

% Change

Total Receipts

71,028,000

70,807,000

-0.3%

Total Processed

66,656,000

67,595,000

1.4%

 

 

 

 

E-filing Receipts:

 

 

 

TOTAL

53,359,000

56,665,000

6.2%

Tax Professionals

36,771,000

36,751,000

2.5%

Self-prepared

16,588,000

19,914,000

14.8%

 

 

 

 

Web Usage:

 

 

 

Visits to IRS.gov

99,754,000

127,506,000

27.8%

 

 

 

 

Total Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

59,199,000

61,042,000

3.1%

Amount

$149.621

Billion

$169.114

Billion

13.0%

Average refund

$2,527

$2,770

9.6%

 

 

 

 

Direct Deposit Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

45,023,000

48,643,000

8.0%

Amount

$126.127

Billion

$146.438

Billion

16.1%

Average refund

$2,801

$3,010

7.5%

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 13-Mar-2014