Despite slight improvement for the season through March 11, the last two weeks have seen volumes go opposite of what most observers had expected. The prediction had been for an increase of 1 percent to 2 percent over 2015.
The number of returns filed with the IRS through March 25 was 89,412,000, off from 89,412,000 for the season through March 27 a year ago. Returns processed fell to 86,914,000, off 1.6 percent from 88,298,000. For the report for season through March 18, the number of returns filed had fallen by .4 percent from last year's figures and the total processed was down 1 percent.
The gap between the returns efiled by tax professionals widened for the second consecutive reporting period. Pros efiled 46,100,000 returns, off 3.1 percent from 47,565,000. For the prior report, the total was down by 2.5 percent. There were 36,687,000 self-prepared returns efiled, an increase of 3.8 percent from 35,340,000 for the comparable period in the 2015 season, but not as good as the pace reported for March 18.