IRS News Release  
May 22, 1998

IRS Completes Processing of
Timely-Filed Refund Returns

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service last week finished processing refunds for all returns that had been filed by the April 15 deadline. As of May 15, the IRS had completed work on more than 77 million refunds, worth more than $102 billion. Taxpayers should receive the last of these checks around the end of this month.

Each year, employees at the IRS centers work seven days a week from mid-April to mid-May so that taxpayers get their refunds quickly. By law, the government must add interest to refunds paid more than 45 days after the filing deadline or the date filed, whichever is later. This year, the IRS processed more than 29 million returns, resulting in nearly 20 million refunds, in the month following April 15.

At the same time that it is working to meet its deadline for refund processing, the IRS must credit to taxpayers' accounts, and deposit into the Treasury, all the checks sent with tax returns. In the last two weeks of April, the IRS deposited about 11.6 million payments, totaling $38.6 billion.

The IRS continues to process returns year round. Nearly seven million individuals received automatic extensions until Aug. 17 to file their returns. About one third of them will request additional time, until mid-October. The IRS also processes more than 40 million returns annually from employers, corporations, trusts and partnerships.

Cumulative through the week ending 5/16/97 and 5/15/98
                   1997          1998      % Change
Individual Income Tax Returns (electronic and paper)
Total Receipts  113,345,000   115,222,000    1.7
Total Processed  91,476,000    94,417,000    3.2
E-filing --Total Receipts:
Standard E-file  14,356,000   18,481,000    28.7
TeleFile          4,687,000    5,953,000    27.0
Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:
Number           75,796,000   77,222,000     1.9
Amount          $96.240 bil $102.412 bil     6.4
Average Refund        $1270        $1326     4.4
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number           16,232,000   18,926,000    16.6
Amount          $28.530 bil  $33.862 bil    18.7

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