The decline likely reflects the end of the pandemic filing era. At the same time, number of returns process rose by .7 person, reflecting the IRS catching up on its backlog of returns.
There were 137,144,000 returns received for the most recently reported period, down from 138,942,000 in last year’s corresponding period. The IRS processed 134,649,000 returns through April 21, down from 133,773,000 a year ago.
Efiles submitted fell 1.1 percent to 132,009,000 -from133,773,000. Those submitted by paid preparers remained almost steady at 70,492,000, this year, compared to 70,509,000 a year earlier. Self-prepared efiles remained behind 2022 rates as they have most of the season, falling to 61,517,000, down 2.2 percent from 62,900,000.
The number of refunds dropped to 85,935,000, off 3.1 percent from 88,667,000 . The average refund remained down as it had all season, falling to $2,753, a drop of 8.6 percent from $3,102.