IRS News Release  
February 22, 1989

A Fifteen Percent Increase in Tax Returns

More taxpayers are filing earlier this year. For the first time this filing season the Internal Revenue Service received more individual income tax returns at the service centers than for a comparable period last year.

Last week the IRS received 7.5 million individual income tax returns -- a 15 percent increase over the same week last year -- bringing the total number of returns received to over 24 million through February 17, As of that date the IRS processed 10.5 million returns, an 11 percent increase over last year.

The IRS said that electronically filed returns continue to come in at an increased rate. As of February 17 over one-half million taxpayers filed returns electronically, compared to 120,000 last year at the same point, a 327 percent increase over 1988. Electronic filing is offered in 36 states this year but will be available in all 50 states next year.

Refund returns are still up. The IRS certified 4.2 million returns for refund this year, compared to 3.8 million at this same time last year. The average refund to date is $805 compared to $782 last year.

The IRS noted again that some filers of Form 1040A continue to be incorrectly claiming the standard deduction, and added that the problem seems to be particularly prevalent in returns filed by taxpayers 65 and over. The IRS urged filers to read the instructions carefully when claiming the appropriate standard deduction amount.

Taxpayers can order free tax forms and publications with information on the standard deduction and other tax matters by calling a forms distribution center toll-free on 1-800-424-FORM (3676). Through February 16 the distribution centers received 2.5 million telephone orders for forms and publications; over 6.6 million orders have been received by phone and mail order. The IRS said that orders for forms and publications are filled generally within 48 hours.

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