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irsIf this year's tax season is going to show growth in filings, it will probably be after the filing deadline. That is what happened in 2016 when each week's report lagged the 2015 results until the report for the season through April 22, 2016 when every statistical category showed growth.

Through April 7, this season, however, continued the pattern of reducing the gap from the prior year with only refunds showing any growth over 2015. There were 103,612,000 returns received by the Internal Revenue Service through April 7, down 3.6 percent from 107,452,000 returns for the season through April 8, 2016. That compared to a 4.1-percent decline for the season through March 31. 

E-files for the most recently reported period fell by 3.3 percent to 95,458,000, compared to 98,731,000 in last year's corresponding season. That compared to a 3.8-percent decline registered this year through March 31.

Professionals sent in 54,720,000 efiles for the period, down 4 percent from 57,006,000, which compared to a 4.6-percent decline reported through March 31.

There were 40,738,000 self-prepared efiles, down 2.4 percent from 41,725,000 a year earlier and an improvement from minus 2.6 percent for the prior week's report.

The number of refunds remained down. There were 80,296,000 through April 7, down 1.4 percent from 81,751,000 a year ago, but that was better than the -2.4 percent for the prior week's report.

The total dollars refunded for the first time exceeded the amount for 2016. That figure was $228.951 billion for the most recently reported period, up .1 percent from $228.78 billion. It was off by .8 percent over 2016 for the March 31 report.

The size of the average refund continued to inch up, reaching $2,851, an increase of 1.9 percent from $2,798 for the same period in 2016. That was an improvement from the 1.6-percent rise reported the prior week.

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 April 2017
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