IRS News Release  
April 08, 1992

Electronic Filing Tops 10 Million Mark

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service reached a new milestone in its electronic filing system this week, with total returns surpassing 10 million.

Available nationwide since 1990, the system now accepts both balance due and refund returns. Refund filers generally have their money within 3 weeks, sooner if they have it deposited directly into their bank accounts. Those filing paper returns now may have to wait six to eight weeks for their refunds. For taxpayers with a balance due, electronic filing provides a confirmation that the IRS received the return -- an important consideration when filing near the deadline.

The IRS said it expects to receive about 38 million returns in the next couple of weeks. For those caught in the last-minute rush, it has two words of advice: "Don't panic."

Among the problems that hurrying can cause:

  • math errors, especially when subtracting figures;
  • forgetting to sign the return or payment check;
  • omitting W-2s and other required forms or schedules.

The IRS expects 5 million people to request an automatic 4-month extension by filing Form 4868 by April 15th. This extra time is only for completing the forms. Any taxes owed must be paid with Form 4868 or the extension will be denied.

Taxpayers who cannot pay the full balance due should file on time and pay whatever they can with the return. If they still cannot pay the remaining amount when the IRS bills them -- in about two months -- they should call the IRS number listed on the tax bill and explain why they cannot pay. The IRS has made it easier for people to obtain an installment agreement, so they can pay their taxes over a period of months.

If you need forms and there's no IRS office nearby, check your local public library. Many stock the common tax forms and have others available for photocopying. They may also have a reference set of IRS publications to help answer your questions.

Tax help is available 24 hours a day for touch-tone callers to the IRS Tele-Tax system, which has recorded tapes on about 140 topics. Tele-Tax's toll-free number -- 1-800-829-4477 -- may also be used to check on refunds several weeks after filing.

As of April 3, the IRS had received over 67 million returns and approved more than 47 million refunds, worth $46 billion. At $976, the average refund is up eight percent from last year.

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