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The number of tax returns filed early in 2013 decreased from the number filed in the same time period in 2012.

Tax Filing Off Pace from 2012

  • 4/17/2013

Tax Filing Off Pace from 2012

The number of 2012 tax returns filed from the beginning of 2013 through early March decreased from the number filed in the same time frame in 2012, according to senior officials representing the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). However, TIGTA officials predicted that, when final statistics are compiled on the completed season, the filing and refund numbers will likely catch up to last year’s figures.

Officials said filing was delayed by changes or extensions in tax law enacted by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which lead to many revisions to commonly used tax forms and schedules.

TIGTA also reported that several areas required better compliance. In particular, the IRS is continuing to face erroneously claimed education credits such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credits. Also, paid tax return preparers are not all following the due diligence requirements for filing tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“This filing season proved to be particularly challenging for the IRS due to the late-breaking changes to tax forms,” a senior TIGTA official explained. He noted that the total number of tax returns that were e-filed and the amount of tax refunds are also down from 2012.

TIGTA officials reported the following notable figures and statistics relating to the 2013 filing season:

  • As of March 9, the IRS has received more than 65 million tax returns, down from the nearly 72 million returns filed during the same period in 2012
  • The average tax refund has decreased slightly to $2,894 in 2013, down from $2,944 during the same period last year
  • The IRS issued more than 53 million refunds, totaling nearly $155 billion as of March 9; at the same time last year, the IRS had issued 59.2 million refunds totaling more than $174 billion
  • The percentage of taxpayers e-filing their returns increased to 91 percent

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