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A 22.8-percent rise in self-prepared efiles lifted the extended tax season to a 4-percent increase in returns. The Internal Revenue Service has reported that 151,782,000 were filed for the season through July 17 compared to 145,941,000 filed through July 19, 2019.

The IRS noted, as H&R Block pointed out earlier, that the numbers were affected by filings  by submissions from those who would not usually file income tax returns in order to receive Economic Impact Payments. Block estimated in June that added 4-percent points to the do-it-yourself total.

The IRS also apparently caught up on the 4.5-million paper return backlog that had built up when processing of those was halted because of the coronavirus outbreak. There were 145,464,000 tax returns processes for the season as reported, up .2 percent from 145,191,000 in last year’s corresponding period.

The DIY bump meant efiles were up 9.5 percent to 143,379,000 from 130,882,000 for the compared period last yearEfiles from paid professionals lagged the year-ago totals, with 73,806,000 received through July 17, down .5 percent from 74,206,000 fforhe prior year’s corresponding period. DIY returns this year reached 69,573,000, rising from 56,676,000 a year ago.

Refunds issued for 2020 fell to 100,483,000, down 4.9 percent from 100,483,000, while the average return increased .3 percent to $2,748 from $2,740.

The season produced a huge jump to IRS websites as the agency’s ability to answer telephones was hampered. The number of visits increased to 1,380,722,000, an increase of 164.3 percent from 522,468,000.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
Last modified on Friday, 31 July 2020
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