April 22, 1998
Tax Season '98: Electronic
Activity, Customer Service
WASHINGTON - According to the
Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers have reaped the benefits of the two principal
hallmarks of this year's very successful tax season: increases in electronic activity and
improvements in customer service.
"This filing season shows that we are moving down the
right path towards becoming more customer-oriented," said IRS Commissioner Charles 0.
Rossotti. will continue to use our technology and make the organizational changes needed
to deliver the service our customers expect."
Electronic filing of tax returns -- by computer and by
telephone -- surpassed IRS projections, increasing by more than 28 percent, to 24.2
million returns as of April 17. The IRS Web site had over 340 million hits from taxpayers
seeking information, forms or publications -- almost triple last year's filing season
activity. IRS TaxFax sent more than 750,000 faxes, an increase of more than 30 percent.
The IRS opened its telephone help lines 96 hours a week,
resulting in 17 million fewer busy signals. More than 150 local IRS offices offered
walk-in assistance on six Saturdays. A special Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day and
two Problem Prevention Days helped taxpayers get the benefits they were entitled to while
avoiding mistakes on their returns.
As of Apr. 17. the IRS had received more than 100 million tax
returns and processed more than $84 billion in refunds, with nearly $32 billion of that
amount deposited directly to taxpayers' bank accounts.
1998 FILING SEASON STATISTICS
Cumulative through the week ending 4/18/97 and 4/17/98
1997 1998 % Change
Individual Income Tax Returns (electronic and paper)
Total Receipts 100,867,000 100,267,000 -0.6
Total Processed 68,411,000 71,906,000 5.1
E-filing -- Total Receipts:
Standard E-file 14,242,000 18,307,000 28.5
TeleFile 4,677,000 5,933,000 26.9
Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:
Number 60,380,000 62,531,000 3.6
Amount $78.221 billion $84.217 billion 7.7
Average Refund $1295 $1347 4.0
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 15,079,000 17,557,000 16.4
Amount $26.896 billion $31.849 billion 18.4
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