April 17, 1997
IRS Concludes Successful Tax Season
WASHINGTON - April 15 marked the end of a tax season in which
taxpayers found it easier get information, file their returns and receive their refunds.
"This was an excellent filing season -- our best
ever," said IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson. "We helped more
taxpayers this year, handling over 70 percent of callers. Our TeleFile program and our
Website continued to grow in popularity with our customers. And our efforts to make it
easier for taxpayers to get their refunds by direct deposit were very successful."
TeleFile -- the file-by-phone
system -- saw a 58 percent increase, with 4.2 million returns TeleFiled as of April 11.
Standard electronic filing, in which tax return data is transmitted via computer modem to
the IRS, increased by 18 percent to 13.5 million returns. This included 323,000 returns in
the OnLine Filing program, in which taxpayers sent returns from their home computers to
the IRS through a transmitting service.
The IRS Website has had 114 million "hits" since
Jan. 1, over double last filing season's volume and above the total for all of 1996. The
two peak days were April 14 and 15, with four million hits each day, well within the
sitežs capacity of over five million hits daily.
As of April 4, the IRS had helped nearly 63 million taxpayers
through its telephone and walk-in assistance programs. During the final four days of the
filing season, the IRS kept its phone lines open from 7:30 am to 10:00 pm to answer
last-minute questions. On Saturday and Sunday, the IRS handled over 233,000 callers.
The IRS has already sent out 50.9 million refunds, worth a
total of $66.9 billion -- an average refund of $1314. To make it easier for taxpayers to
have their tax refunds deposited directly to their bank accounts this year, the IRS made
room on the tax forms for the account information, eliminating a separate form. Almost 14
million taxpayers have already chosen direct deposit for their refunds, up 49 percent from
1997 FILING SEASON STATISTICS
Cumulative through the week ending 4/12/96 and 4/11/97
1996 1997 % Change
Individual Income Tax Returns
Total Receipts 76,334,000 75,698,000 - 0.8
Total Processed 62,673,000 61,857,000 - 1.3
Filing Alternatives -- Total Receipts:
Standard Electronic 11,427,000 13,501,000 18.1
TeleFile 2,679,000 4,246,000 58.5
1040PC Format 4,480,000 5,186,000 15.8
Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:
Number 50,927,000 50,916,000 - 0.0
Amount of principal $63.060 billion $66.919 billion 6.1
Average refund $1238 $1314 6.1
(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
1997 IRS News Releases | News Releases Main | Home