Tax Filings Off to a Strong Start This Year, IRS Reports

February 17, 2014

(Accounting Today, By Michael Cohn; Published February 14, 2014)

The Internal Revenue Service said Friday that tax filings so far in 2014 have outpaced filings for the same time last year.

Tax season opened on Jan. 31 after a delay this year, thanks to the two-week government shutdown last October. But the IRS had also struggled to start tax season last year after Congress put off extending the Bush tax cuts until New Year’s Day, delaying tax season until Jan. 30 last year.

As of Feb. 7, the IRS reported that it had received 27.3 million returns, up 2.5 percent compared to the same time last year. Electronically filed returns account for nearly 96 percent of those filed so far this year.

Taxpayers, either through tax preparers or from their home computers, have e-filed more than 26 million returns so far this year, up nearly 4 percent compared to the same time last year. As of Feb. 7, taxpayers have filed more than 13 million returns from home computers, an increase of 14.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Refunds are up for 2014, with almost 19.5 million issued this year, an increase of more than 18 percent compared to the same time last year. The average refund as of Feb. 7 is $3,317, up 4.6 percent compared to the same time last year. (Refund averages generally have higher dollar values early in the filing season than later in the year.)

Most refunds are directly deposited into taxpayer accounts; just over 87 percent of all refunds issued were directly deposited as of Feb. 7. 2014.

2014 Filing Season Statistics

Cumulative statistics comparing 2/8/13 and 2/7/14

Individual Income Tax Returns:

2013

2014

% Change

Total Receipts

26,589,000

27,249,000

2.5

Total Processed

18,811,000

26,945,000

43.2

E-filing Receipts:
TOTAL

25,121,000

26,081,000

3.8

Tax Professionals

13,456,000

12,699,000

-5.6

Self-prepared

11,665,000

13,382,000

14.7

Web Usage:
Visits to IRS.gov

90,706,865

89,683,640

-1.1

Total Refunds:
Number

16,424,000

19,459,000

18.5

Amount

$52.059 billion

$64.546 billion

24

Average refund

$3,170

$3,317

4.6

Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number

15,457,000

16,976,000

9.8

Amount

$50.214 billion

$55.815 billion

11.2

Average refund

$3,249

$3,288

1.2

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