IRS News Release  
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 last year.

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