IRS News Release  
March 17, 2005

IRS e-file Up 6 Percent

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service announced today that electronic filing continues to show a strong increase, with e-filed tax returns running more than 6 percent ahead of last year. The biggest increase is being seen in home computer use, which is up more than 14 percent.

People e-filed 42.7 million returns through March 11 — up 2.5 million over last year´s numbers.

“E-filing continues to show strong growth,’ said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. “We are committed to using technology to make tax filing easier, including filing electronically and using services available on’

Out of 61 million returns filed as of March 11, almost 70 percent of them were e-filed — up from 65 percent the previous year. While this percentage will decline as April 15 approaches, the IRS expects for the first time to have more than half of all individual tax returns filed electronically.

Out of tax returns e-filed so far, the biggest increase is among those who prepare their own returns on a home computer — 10.6 million returns, up more than 14 percent over results from the same period last year.

The jump in computer use coincides with another strong year from the Free File program. The IRS and a consortium of tax software manufacturers offer free services through Free File, which is available at More than 3.33 million returns came in through Free File through March 9, which is a 44 percent increase from 2.32 million returns for the same period last year.

Record numbers of individuals are choosing to have their refunds directly deposited into their bank accounts. So far this year 69, percent of all deposits are through direct deposit — up from 65 percent over the same period last year.

Taxpayers who e-file and choose direct deposit get their refunds in half the time of those who file a paper return. Even paper filers, however, can get the benefit of direct deposit by choosing that option on their tax forms; they will get their refunds a week sooner than waiting for a paper check.

2005 Filing Season Statistics
Cumulative through the week ending 3/12/04 and 3/11/05

  2004 2005 % Change
Individual Income Tax Returns
Total Receipts 62,038,000 61,326,000 -1.1
Total Processed 56,793,000 57,019,000 0.4
E-filing Receipts:
TOTAL 40,229,000 42,731,000 6.2
TeleFile (phone) 2,852,000 2,431,000 -14.8
Computer 37,377,000 40,300,000   7.8
Tax Professionals 28,136,000 29,708,000 5.6
Self-prepared 9,241,000 10,592,000 14.6
Tax Year 2004 Refunds Certified:
Number 51,945,000 51,743,000 -0.4
Amount $111.728 billion $118.678 billion 6.2
Average $2,151 $2,294 6.6
Direct Deposit Refunds
Number 33,688,000 35,549,000   5.5
Amount $83.862 billion $93.611 billion 11.6
Average $2,489 $2,633   5.8

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