IRS News Release  
February 28, 1990

Tips for Last Minute Filers

WASHINGTON - As taxpayers continue to file their federal income tax returns ahead of last year's pace, the Internal Revenue Service offered some tips, based on a survey of returns filed so far, to those who have not sent in their returns.

Check your math carefully for simple mistakes in adding and subtracting. The IRS noted that one of the most common errors taxpayers make is subtracting to figure their refund.

Taxpayers who don't itemize deductions sometimes make mistakes in choosing the standard deduction amount that is right for them. The standard deduction you are entitled to claim is based on your filing status, whether you are age 65 or older or are blind, and whether you are a dependent of another taxpayer. The IRS reminded taxpayers to use the standard deduction charts in the tax instructions to find the correct amount.

The IRS also reminded taxpayers eligible for Medicare that they should ignore any lines on Forms 1040 and 1040A that refer to the supplemental Medicare catastrophic premium, or surtax. The law repealing the surtax was enacted late in 1989 after the tax forms were printed. So taxpayers should just leave the lines for the Medicare surtax blank or enter a zero there.

The IRS noted that refunds are running ahead of last year, both in number and average amount. Those who file returns before the last minute rush can expect refunds in about four weeks.

1990 Filing Season Statistics
Individual income tax returns received and processed

For the week ending Feb. 24, 1989, and Feb. 23, 1990
                       1989           1990      Change
Receipts            6,738,000     6,714,000       0.4
Processed           4,628,000     5,302,000      14.6

Cumulative from January 1:
                       1989           1990       Change
Receipts          30,801,000     31,916,000       3.6
Processed         15,141,000     18,084,000      19.4

Electronically filed individual income tax returns

     For the week ending Feb. 22, 1990:           588,823
     Cumulative for 1990 since Jan. 1:          2,543,439
     Cumulative for 1989 for same period:         644,593
     1990 increase over 1989:                         283 %

Refund comparison:

Refunds certified by Martinsburg Computing Center through
Feb. 24, 1989, and Feb. 23, 1990:
                       1989             1990       Change
Number               8,258,000       9,931,000      20.3
Amount of principal $6,814 million  $8,623 million  26.5
Average refund            $825          $868         5.2

Taxpayer Service filing season statistics

                         1/1/89 - 2/25/89    1/1/90 - 2/25/90
     Toll-free phone
     calls answered         8,095,046           7,263,393
     Tele-Tax calls         1,178,217           1,244,606

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