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Publication Number 3497 (Rev. 6-2010)

e-file Demographics - Tax Year 2008

With this database, we created a tool to help you, the Electronic Return Originator (ERO), to identify potential zip codes and focus your marketing, thereby increasing the numbers of electronically filed returns. We also want to help you identify areas to open new offices.  This data is presented in separate workbooks, Individual Returns and Business Returns.  Individual Returns are aggregated by ZIP Codes and Business Returns are aggregated by county.  The relatively small number of business returns and limited demographic information makes aggregation at the county level more practical than at a more detailed ZIP Code level. 

The Individual Return data indicates the number of EROs already filing from particular ZIP Codes; thus, you can determine how many other practitioners may be filing electronically in new or existing office locations.  We based the ERO count by ZIP Code of the office location and aggregated the taxpayer data by ZIP Code from the taxpayer returns.  ERO data was extracted from the Third Party Datastore on March 31, 2010.  Taxpayer data for Tax Year 2008 (Processing Year 2009) was extracted from the IRS main database on December 31, 2009 (Tax Year 2008: January 1, 2008-December 31, 2008).  The files can be read with Microsoft Excel 97 or higher.

Using the AutoFilter command:

The AutoFilter command applies drop-down arrows directly to column labels in the list, so you can select the item (e.g. ZIP Code, county, etc) you want to display.  The drop-down box in Excel 97 holds only the first 1,000 original data elements, so if you can not find a ZIP Code or data element, use the Custom method.  When you select an item from the drop-down list, Microsoft Excel temporarily hides the rows that do not contain that item.  You can show all the data in your list by using the Show All command, or remove the AutoFilter drop-down arrows by clearing the AutoFilter command.  AutoFilter is accessed from the menu by clicking on Data, then Filter, then AutoFilter.

Potential Printing Problem:

When you print or preview a worksheet, and “####” appears in one or more columns, the column widths established by your printer configuration are not wide enough to print the data even though it appears on the screen in normal view.   To address this problem, manually resize the columns, as follows:

  1. In the Normal worksheet view, drag the boundary on the right side of the column heading until the column width shows a number.
  2. On the File menu, click Print Preview to preview the page.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as necessary until the column appears correctly.



  • < 30:   The count of returns with primary taxpayer's age less than 30.
  • 30-44: The count of returns with primary taxpayer’s age between 30 and 44.
  • 45-60: The count of returns with primary taxpayer’s age between 45 and 60.
  • >60:    The count of returns with primary taxpayer’s age greater than 60.

AVG AGI $: Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).

AVG REFUND $: Average refund amount for refund returns only.

COMPUTER GENERATED/PAPER FILED: The count of returns that are prepared on a computer and filed as paper.

COUNTY: The primary political divisions of most States are termed "counties."  In Louisiana, these divisions are known as "parishes." In Alaska, which has no counties, the county equivalents are the organized "boroughs" and the "census areas" that are delineated for statistical purposes by the State of Alaska and the Census Bureau.  In four States (Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia), there are one or more cities that are independent of any county organization and thus constitute primary divisions of their states.  These cities are known as "independent cities" and are treated as equivalent to counties for statistical purposes.  The part of Yellowstone National Park that is in Montana is treated as a county equivalent.  The District of Columbia has no primary divisions, and the entire area is considered equivalent to a county for statistical purposes.

DIRECT DEPOSIT: The count of returns indicating Direct Deposit.

EITC: The count of returns with Earned Income Tax Credit.

ERO-PREPARERS: The count of Electronic Return Originators (EROs) by ZIP Code on March 31, 2010.  An ERO is an Authorized IRS e-file Provider who originates (starts) the electronic submission of income tax returns to the IRS.  EROs may originate the electronic submission of income tax returns that have been prepared by themselves or preparers they employ, by taxpayers, by other EROs, or by other paid preparers.  The EROs are assigned an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) to transmit returns and are divided into two categories:

  • APPROVED EFINs: The count of EROs with EFINs; and
  • ACTIVE: The count of EROs with EFINs who have transmitted this season.

FEDERAL/STATE e-FILE:  Count of Federal/State e-filed returns. Providers may file both federal and state returns electronically for clients as part of cooperative Federal/State tax filing agreements.


  • SINGLE:  The count of returns with filing status Single.
  • MARRIED JOINT: The count of returns with filing status Married Filing Jointly.
  • HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD: The count of returns with filing status Head of Household.

FORM 1041:  The count of all estate and trust returns (Form 1041) aggregated by county.

FORM 1065: The count of all partnership returns (Form 1065) aggregated by county.

FORM 1120 & 1120A: The count of all US Corporate income tax returns (Form 1120) & US short form Corporate income tax returns (Form 1120A) aggregated by county.

FORM 1120S: The count of all S-Corporation income tax returns (Form 1120S) aggregated by county.

FORM 941: The count of all Employment Tax (Form 941) forms aggregated by county.  Since this form is filed quarterly, we provide first quarter 2009 counts to indicate typical quarterly volumes, in addition to full processing year 2009 counts.

PAID PREPARER RETURNS: The count of returns prepared by someone other than the filer, i.e., a paid preparer.

TOWN: Small residential area or city.

TOTAL # OF REFUNDS: The count of returns with a refund paid.

TOTAL # OF RETURNS: All returns, including both paper, e-filed, and on-line.


  • Paper:  The count of paper returns.
  • e-file: The count of ERO returns.
  • On-Line: The count of returns filed on-line.

XX:  Represents counts of less than ten.

ZIP CODE: ZIP Codes are administrative units established by the United States Postal Service (USPS) for the distribution of mail.  ZIP Codes serve addresses for the most efficient delivery of mail, and therefore generally do not respect political or census statistical area boundaries.  They usually do not have clearly identifiable boundaries, often serve a continually changing area, are changed periodically to meet postal requirements, and do not cover all the land area of the United States.  ZIP Codes are identified by five-digit codes assigned by the USPS.  The first three digits identify a major city or sectional distribution center, and the last two digits generally signify a specific post office's delivery area or point.

# RETURNS WITH SCH C: The count of returns with Schedule C attached.

# RETURNS WITH SCH F: The count of returns with Schedule F attached.

Contact info:
Diane Goldstein
Small Business/Self-Employed: Research
e-mail: Diane Goldstein

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 2012-08-03