More e-filing of early tax returns

Electronic filing of taxes is up sharply this year because more individuals are using their computers to file returns, the IRS said today. Through Feb. 20, e-filing by computer and telephone reached 29 million returns, an increase of more than 8 percent over the same period last year.

More than 6.6 million taxpayers have e-filed from their computers, a 23 percent increase over last year. And tax professionals e-filed 20.1 million client returns, 5.6 percent more than last year.

By choosing to have refunds deposited directly to a bank account, e-filers can have their money in two weeks or less. The number of refunds is running 4.1 percent higher than last year and averaging $97 more—$2,292, a 4.5 percent increase.

Three out of four taxpayers receiving refunds had them deposited directly to their bank accounts, the tax agency said.

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