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Filing Season Crawls Along

The story of the 2017 tax season has been one of catching up with 2016 figures. And with the release of statistics for the tax season through March 3, the numbers for most categories reported by the Internal Revenue Service are finally less than double digits behind last year.

For the year through March 4, the number of returns received were down 8.5 percent and efiled returns process off by 8.3 percent. That compares to a negative 10.6 percent and 10.4 percent for the respective categories for the season through February 24.

However, the only figure ahead of the prior year remains the size of the average refund. At $3,016 for the most recently ended year that is .8 percent ahead of $2,993 a year earlier. That statistic only broke into the positive area with the last report in February when the refund size increased by.6 percent.

There were 61,063,000 returns received for this reporting period, compared to 66,723,000 last tax season. The 57,435,000 efiles for this season were up from 62,636,000 in last year's corresponding period.

Self-prepared efiled returns continued at pace ahead of those that were prepared with the assistance of professionals. There were 28,142,000 self-prepared efiles, down 6.3 percent from 30,036,000. The 29,293,000 assisted efiles were down 10.1 percent from 32,600,000.

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