Data Points Down as Tax Season Opens

Data chartDIYs, refunds are up.

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By Beth Bellor

Filings were behind last year's marks as tax season opened, according to the IRS, and pros handled about 35 percent of e-filings.

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The Internal Revenue Service received 15.8 million individual income tax returns for the week ending Jan. 31 – the first of the season and just five days long – down by 1.6 percent from the year before. It had processed 12.9 million returns, down 2.7 percent, for a processing rate of 82 percent.

E-filing receipts

Electronic filings totaled 15.1 million, down 0.7 percent. Of those 5.2 million were handled by tax pros, down 3.8 percent, and 9.9 million by DIYers, up 1.1 percent.

Professionals submitted 34.6 percent of e-filings.

Website visits

Visits to IRS.gov numbered 68.1 million, up 2.7 percent.

Refunds

Total refunds numbered 4.3 million, down 8 percent, in the total amount of $8 billion, down 7.8 percent. The average refund of $1,869 was down 0.2 percent.

Total direct deposit refunds numbered 4.1 million, down 8.4 percent, in the total amount of $7.9 billion, down 7.7 percent. The average direct deposit refund was $1,915, up 0.7 percent.

Direct deposit accounted for 95.4 percent of refunds and 97.7 percent of the total pot. On average, direct deposit refunds were 2.5 percent higher than their paper counterparts.

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