The 2015 federal tax filing season is off to a fast start, with the Internal Revenue Service reporting that 7.6 million refunds worth $26.8 billion have been issued since Jan. 31. The average refund is worth $3,539.
More than 96 percent of all refunds have been paid through direct deposit. All total, 7.3 million refunds worth $26.2 billion have been directly deposited to taxpayer accounts.
As of Jan. 31, the IRS says it has received more than 14 million tax returns this year. That’s 25 percent higher compared to the same time period last year.
More than 13 million of those returns have been filed electronically, an indication that more taxpayers are realizing the benefits of e-filing, IRS officials say.
“We encourage taxpayers to e-file their returns since it is the quickest, safest and most accurate way to file and the fastest way to get a refund,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We also urge taxpayers to take advantage of the many online resources available through our web site.”
The agency’s website, IRS.gov, has been accessed more than 65 million times this year, up 49 percent from the same time last year.
When comparing the tax filings as of Jan 31, 2015 to the same time last year, the agency reminds the public that the 2014 filing season began ten days later – Jan. 30, 2014. That’s because the process for updating IRS systems saw significant delays in October 2013 as a result of the 16-day federal government closure.