IRS News Release  
March 25, 1997

IRS Offers Saturday Phone Hours

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service tax help lines -- already available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. -- will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the next three Saturdays, the final weekends before the April 15 filing deadline. But the toll-free number -- 1-800-829-1040 -- is not the only way to get IRS help.

The IRS Web site -- -- has an assortment of tax information for both individuals and businesses. It has had over 60 million hits this filing season. Computer users may download federal tax forms from this site or the IRIS bulletin board, via modem at 703-321-8020. TaxFax, at 703-487-4160, offers forms and instructions by return fax. Callers to the IRS forms line -- 1-800-TAX-FORM -- should place their orders before April to receive them by the filing deadline. Many public libraries stock basic tax forms and have other forms available for photocopying.

TeleTax offers recorded messages on about 150 tax subjects, as well as refund information for those who have already filed. The taped messages are available 24 hours a day. Refund information is generally available from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. weekdays. Taxpayers without touch-tone phones may use both services weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The toll-free number is 1-800-829-4477. The tax instructions have details on using TeleTax, including a list of recorded topics.

As of March 21, the IRS had processed more than $48 billion in refunds, up nearly $ 3 billion from this time last year. The average refund -- $1375 -- is eight percent higher than last year's.

Cumulative through the week ending 3/22/96 and 3/21/97

                       1996                1997     % Change

Individual Income Tax Returns

Total Receipts       55,972,000         55,703,000    - 0.5
Total Processed      46,221,000         44,841,000    - 3.0 

Filing Alternatives -- Total Receipts:

Standard Electronic  10,255,000         12,108,000     18.1
TeleFile              2,456,000          3,809,000     55.1
1040PC Format         3,091,000          3,599,000     16.4

Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:

Number               35,826,000         35,007,000    - 2.3
Amount of principal $45.436 billion   $48.131 billion   5.9
Average refund          $1268              $1375        8.4

(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)

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