IRS News Release  
February 13, 1991

Act Now for Tax Help or Early Refunds

For taxpayers expecting refunds or needing help with their federal income tax returns, now is the best time for action. Early filers should get their refunds in four to six weeks and Internal Revenue Service staffers are getting fewer calls than last year.

As of Feb. 8, 1991, the IRS had authorized over 2 million refunds, about 6 percent fewer than last year, with an average refund amount of $963, a 10 percent increase. Electronically filed returns, almost all of them claiming refunds, have more than doubled since last year, to 2.6 million. Refunds on electronic returns should be received within three weeks, sooner if deposited directly to the taxpayer's bank account.

Requests for IRS tax help during the first "peak" time - through February 9 - were down slightly from last year, with over 5.1 million calls handled. "We're ready to answer your questions," says Phil Brand, Assistant Commissioner for Taxpayer Service, "so call 1-800-829-1040 before the next peak time arrives in mid-march."

Calls to the Tele-Tax refund and recorded information service increased 48 percent, to over 2 million. by far the most popular recorded information tape has been "Electronic Filing." Other frequently requested subjects include "Dependents," "Earned Income Credit," "Should I Itemize?" and "Business Use of Car."

Refund-related Tele-tax calls have doubled, but in most cases taxpayers had not given the IRS a chance to begin processing their returns before they called, so no information was available. You should wait at least 4 weeks after filing before calling about your refund. The refund information is updated weekly.

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