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March 9, 09

NEWS / Taxpayers Filing Earlier and Banking Larger Refunds in 2009


WASHINGTON — Taxpayers are filing earlier and receiving larger refunds so far this year, according to early filing season statistics released today by the Internal Revenue Service.

As of Feb. 27, 2009, the IRS had received 56 million individual tax returns, a slight increase over the previous year. And, the average individual refund was $2,869, a 9 percent increase or $232 more than the same time last year.

The IRS notes that possible reasons for the larger refunds may include taxpayers benefiting from the recovery rebate credit and other tax breaks such as the first-time homebuyer credit and the additional standard deduction for real estate taxes. The average refund amount generally will decrease slightly as the filing season progresses.

More taxpayers choose to receive their refunds through direct deposit each year. As of Feb. 27, more than 84 percent of all refunds were issued through direct deposit, up from 81 percent for the same period last year.

While the IRS has issued almost 3 percent more refunds this year compared to the same time last year, the number of taxpayers who choose to receive their refunds quickly and safely through direct deposit is up almost 7 percent compared to the same time last year. On Feb. 27, the average direct deposit refund totaled $3,063.

The IRS cautioned that year-to-year analysis of total returns filed will be an anomaly this year because last year’s results include those returns filed for the economic stimulus payment. As the year progresses, the IRS expects to receive and process more individual income tax returns during 2009 than in 2007 but fewer than in 2008.



2009 FILING SEASON STATISTICS



Cumulative through the weeks ending Feb. 29, 2008 and Feb. 27, 2009



Individual Income Tax Returns


2008


2009


% Change

Total Receipts


55,704,000


56,049,000


0.6%

Total Processed


51,240,000


51,939,000


1.4%












E-filing Receipts:










TOTAL


43,777,000


46,246,000


5.6%

Tax Professionals


29,750,000


29,606,000


-0.5%

Self-prepared


14,027,000


16,640,000


18.6%












Web Usage:










Visits to IRS.gov


80,312,322


105,204,812


30.99%












Total Refunds:










Number


46,539,000


47,697,000


2.5%

Amount


$122.716


Billion


$136.847


Billion


11.5%

Average refund


$2,637


$2,869


8.8%












Direct Deposit Refunds:










Number


37,748,000


40,257,000


6.6%

Amount


$107.951


Billion


$123.297


Billion


14.2%

Average refund


$2,860


$3,063


7.1%

 




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