IRS News Release  
April 28, 1993

Last-Minute Returns Close the Filing Gap

WASHINGTON - A flood of last minute filings has almost completely closed the gap in tax returns between last year and this -- a gap which grew to nearly five million the week before the April 15 deadline.

The Internal Revenue Service had received 104.1 million returns as of April 23, just shy of the 104.7 million for the same period last year. The IRS had also counted over 3.6 million extension requests as of the date, compared to almost 3.1 million last year.

Taxpayers who missed the deadline should file as soon as possible to reduce interest and penalty charges. The interest rate is currently 7 percent a year, compounded daily. The late filing penalty is 5 percent per month of any taxes not paid by April 15. There is no penalty if you have a refund coming, but you lose the refund if you file more than three years late.

IRS workers processed nearly 10.2 million payments, worth $22.4 billion, during the past two weeks. Although individuals pay around half-trillion dollars in income taxes each year, the vast majority of the money comes through withholding or estimated payments, not with the tax returns themselves.

Many who could not pay their taxes asked for installment plans when they filed their returns. As of April 17 -- before most final-week returns even reached the processing centers -- the IRS had logged over 135,000 installment requests. Some were on the new Form 9465. Others were just notes proposing monthly payment amounts and due dates. The IRS will notify requesters of the receipt of their plans within 30 days.

The IRS has sent 56.2 million refunds, worth a total of $54.9 billion. These are 3.8 million fewer refunds than at this point last year, reflecting this season's slower filing pace. At $978, the average refund is down 0.4 percent.

                    1993 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

       Cumulative through the week ending 4/24/92 and 4/23/93

                      1992              1993            % Change

Individual Income Tax Returns:

Total Receipts       104,742,000       104,090,000      -0.6
Total Processed       75,559,000        70,273,000      -7.0

Filing Alternatives -- Total Receipts:

Electronic Filing     10,850,000        12,272,000       13.1
1040PC Format          1,373,000         4,185,000      204.8
TeleFile                 126,000           149,000       18.3

Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:

Number                59,959,000        56,156,000       -6.3
Amount of Principal   $58.909 billion   $54.931 billion  -6.8
Average Refund          $982              $978           -0.4

    (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 Center)

Taxpayer Service Filing Season Statistics

                      through 4/2/92         through 4/3/93

Toll-free phone
 calls answered       18,160,351              18,250,145

Tele-Tax calls        29,349,213              25,080,615
   Technical tapes     4,300,625               4,318,089
   Refund Info.       25,048,588              20,762,526

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