IRS News Release  
February 24, 1997

Telefile Surpasses Last Year's Total

WASHINGTON - More people used the IRS file-by-phone system in its first six weeks of availability this year than they did throughout 1996. As of Feb. 21, the IRS had accepted over 3 million TeleFile returns, compared with 2.8 million for all of 1996.

"We are delighted with taxpayers' enthusiasm for TeleFile. TeleFile is easy, quick and accurate," said IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson. "All you need is the TeleFile package and a touch-tone telephone. It's as easy as ordering a pizza."

The IRS sent TeleFile packages to almost 26 million taxpayers this year, inviting them to use the paperless system. Only those who have the packages, which include Customer Service Numbers, can use TeleFile.

TeleFile is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Volume has been heaviest from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays have been the busiest days. But even at peak times, the TeleFile system has handled all calls.

The TeleFile system prompts the caller to enter data from the Form W-2 wage statements received. TeleFile then figures the total income, tax, and any refund or balance due. Taxpayers can have refunds deposited directly into their bank accounts, a new option for TeleFilers this year. The average time to complete the filing by phone is under ten minutes.

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