IRS News Release  
March 18, 1997

Electronic Tax Returns Setting New Records

WASHINGTON - A month before the tax filing deadline, the Internal Revenue Service had already received a record number of electronic returns. Over 15 million of the more than 50 million returns filed as of March 14 arrived via computer or TeleFile, the file-by-phone system.

Two special aspects of electronic filing have also set records. Over 3.5 million taxpayers have filed both federal and state returns in one electronic transmission, surpassing last year�s federal/state total of 3.2 million. And 233,000 taxpayers have sent their tax returns via modem from their personal computers, using the OnLine Filing Program. This exceeds the program�s 1996 total of 158,000 returns.

Another electronic option -- available for any tax return -- is also on a record-setting pace. Taxpayers have had nearly 10.9 million refunds deposited directly into their bank accounts, surpassing last year's total of nearly 10.5 million. The account numbers needed for direct deposit go right on the tax return, after the refund amount.

The IRS has processed over $40 billion in refunds, up $2 billion from this time last year. The average refund -- $1418 -- is nine percent higher than last year's.

Cumulative through the week ending 3/15/96 and 3/14/97
                       1996                1997        % Change
Individual Income Tax Returns:
Total Receipts       51,215,000         50,678,000       - 1.0
Total Processed      39,756,000         38,249,000       - 3.8 
Filing Alternatives -- Total Receipts:
Standard Electronic   9,811,000         11,570,000        17.9
TeleFile              2,379,000          3,663,000        54.0
1040PC Format         2,767,000          3,195,000        15.5
Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:
Number               29,408,000         28,535,000       - 3.0
Amount of principal $38.119 billion   $40.464 billion      6.2
Average refund          $1296              $1418           9.4
(NOTE:  refund data should NOT be compared to the "processed"
          numbers above, since those figures reflect Service
          Center processing, which is completed at least a week
          before refunds are certified at the Computing Center)

Previous | Next

1997 IRS News Releases | News Releases Main | Home