IRS News Release  
March 18, 1996

IRS Ready to Give Tax Help to Millions More

WASHINGTON - With just four weeks to go to the April 15 filing deadline, the Internal Revenue Service urges taxpayers needing assistance to act soon to avoid the last-minute crunch. The IRS has already helped 16 million taxpayers through its walk-in offices, telephone assistors and recorded tax tapes this year -- 800,000 more than in the first two months of 1995. In addition, the IRS' new home page on the World Wide Web has received over 25 million hits.

"We're happy we are providing more service to more people this filing season," said IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson, "but experience suggests that waiting until the last minute is not the best way to guarantee fast service. So we urge taxpayers to act now when there's less time pressure."

The IRS home page is accessible at The site offers answers to frequently asked tax questions as well as forms and publications for downloading. It is averaging 32,000 downloads a day. Similar services are available on IRIS, the Internal Revenue Information System bulletin board, accessible directly via modem at 703-321-8020 (not a toll-free call).

TeleTax recorded tapes on about 150 tax topics are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-829-4477. Taxpayers can use the same number to check on refunds a few weeks after filing their returns. The refund service is available weekdays, 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

If you need to speak to an assistor, the number to call is 1-800-829-1040, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Since demand is usually heaviest on Mondays and around mid-day, the IRS suggests that callers try at other times

In addition to computer access, taxpayers may have federal tax forms and publications mailed to them by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) during normal business hours. Those with a fax machine may use the voice unit to call 703-487-4160 (not toll-free) and request forms by return fax. The cost for telephone time is about 15 cents per page. Faxed forms may be filed with the IRS if they are not on thermal paper. Persons with a thermal paper fax machine should photocopy the forms before using them. Many public libraries also have federal tax forms and publications for research or copying.

As of March 8, the IRS had received 45.9 million tax returns and sent out 23 million refunds worth a total of $31 billion. The average refund was $1,337.

                 1996 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

Cumulative through the week ending 3/10/95 and 3/8/96

1995 1996 % Change Individual Income Tax Returns Total Receipts 46,469,000 45,910,000 -1.2 Total Processed 32,300,000 32,687,000 1.2 Filing Alternatives -- Total Receipts: Standard Electronic 8,842,000 9,273,000 4.9 TeleFile 575,000 2,284,000 297.2 1040PC Format 564,000 2,373,000 320.7 Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center: Number 22,392,000 23,154,000 3.4 Amount of principal $23.285 bil. $30.950 bil. 32.9 Average refund $1040 $1337 28.5

(NOTE: refund data 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).

Previous | Next

1996 IRS News Releases | News Releases Main | Home