Tax Season Sets New Records

New records were set for the number of returns e-filed by home computer users, the number of balance-due returns filed electronically and the number and amount of direct-deposit refunds. Among the highlights of new statistics recently released:

A record 22 million taxpayers e-filed from a home computer, up 11 percent over the same time last year and eclipsing 2006’s year-long total of 20.3 million.

The number of balance-due returns filed electronically surged 14.2 percent to a record 9.4 million. For all of last year, almost 8.9 million balance-due returns were filed electronically.

The over 76.7 million e-filed returns accepted through May 4 topped the more than 73.2 million electronically-filed returns received for all of 2006. It’s also an 8.9 percent increase over last year at this time, with most of the increase coming in March and April. Based on current trends, the agency expects about 58 percent of all returns to be e-filed this year. Taxpayers who filed for extensions can use e-file until Oct. 15.

The average refund this year is $2,255, a 2.5 percent increase over last year at this time. More than 59 million refunds, a new record, were deposited directly into savings, checking and brokerage accounts, representing more than 61 percent of all refunds issued. Those who choose direct deposit get their refunds at least a week sooner. Available year-round, direct deposit eliminates the chance of a lost, stolen or undeliverable refund. Taxpayers claiming refunds who have not yet filed may want to consider using direct deposit to get a head start on their 2007 IRA contribution.

This filing season visits to IRS.gov, the agency’s popular Web site, climbed almost 10 percent to more than 140 million.

Nearly $158 billion have been directly deposited so far this year, an 11 percent jump over last year at this time. This surpasses the 2006 year-end total of $149.2 billion.

These statistics are neatly layed out in this chart: Download file