E-Filing Pace Quickens Toward Finish

Data chart
YTD April 5, 2019. IRS.

Average refund remains down.

By Beth Bellor

As tax season entered its final days, a few positives brightened the data that generally have been bleak all year.

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As of April 5, the latest figures available, the Internal Revenue Service had received 103.5 million individual income tax returns, down 0.3 percent from the same period last year. It had processed 100.6 million of them, down 0.5 percent from 2018, for a 97.2 percent processing rate.

E-filing receipts

E-filings were a positive, with the 96.8 million totaling reflecting a 1 percent increase. Tax professionals filed 53.8 million of those returns, down 0.8 percent, and DIYers filed 43 million, up 3.3 percent.

Tax pros had 55.6 percent of the market share in e-filing.

Website visits

Visits to IRS.gov numbered 376.7 million, up 10.1 percent.


Total refunds numbered 77.9 million, down 1.5 percent, in an amount totaling $220.8 billion, down 2.6 percent. The average refund of $2,833 was down 1.1 percent.

Direct deposit refunds numbered 69.1 million, up 1.3 percent, and totaled $204.6 billion, down 0.5 percent. The average direct deposit refund of $2,961 was down 1.7 percent.

Direct deposit made up 88.7 percent of all refunds.