IRS News Release  
March 17, 1993

Four Weeks to Go &
Tax Filings Remain Sluggish

WASHINGTON - With just four weeks left in the tax season, return filings continue to run behind the pace of recent years and the average refund is almost dropping. The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers who may owe taxes that they can file now and request an installment plan, or file now and send the payment by April 15. deadline.

The IRS issued 6 million refunds last week, usually the peak week for refunds. The IRS has received a total of 48.2 million returns. These are the smallest figures for this point in the filing season in the last five years. The average amount of last weeks refunds -- $894 -- was two percent less than the same week last year.

One reason for this year's slower rate may be that taxpayers are finding smaller refunds -- or even unexpected balances due -- as a result of last March's automatic withholding rate adjustments. While the total tax was unchanged, some of what might have been this year's refund was in 1992's paychecks.

If your tax withholding was inadequate last year, the IRS advises you to get a new Form W-4 to adjust your 1993 withholding as soon as possible. If you can't pay the full tax, you can attach Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, to the front of your return. The IRS will let you know if your installment plan is acceptable within 30 days.

Taxpayers who are getting refunds will have their money sooner if they file now. Refund processing has averaged about four weeks, but will gradually lengthen as April approaches. Those filing at the deadline may not get their refund until early June.

Although total returns receipts are down, electronic filing has been about 12 percent ahead of last year, with 10.3 million returns so far. The usually higher refunds associated with these returns returns have kept the cumulative average refund amount higher -- presently $1,008, up one percent from last year.

Taxpayers needing federal tax forms or publications should act soon to get them in on time. Call the IRS toll-free number -- 1-800-TAX-FORM -- before April, or check your local bank, post office or library for available forms.

                      1993 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

          Cumulative through the week ending 3/13/92 and 3/12/93

                        1992            1993           % Change

Individual Income Tax Returns

Total Receipts          52,356,000      48,189,000      -8.0
Total Processed         41,097,000      37,536,000      -8.7

Filing Alternatives -- Total Receipts:

Electronic Filing       9,202,000       10,329,000       12.2
1040PC Format             632,000        1,855,000      193.5
TeleFile                  112,000          128,000       14.3

Refunds Certified by Martinsburg Computing Center:

Number                29,784,000        27,493,000       -7.7
Amount of principal   $29.657 billion   $27.724 billion  -6.5
Average refund          $996              $1,008          1.3

            (NOTE:  these amounts should NOT be compared to the
            "processed" numbers above, since those figures reflect
            Service Center processing, which is completed at least a
            week before refunds are certified at the Computing

Taxpayers Service Filing Season Statistics

                         through 3/14/92         through 3/13/93

Toll-free phone
  calls answered         11,023,917              10,940,368

Tele-Tax calls           16,759,763              14,890,848
  Technical tapes         2,792,313               2,807,412
  Refund Info.           13,967,450              12,083,436

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