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The first filing statistics for tax season showed only 15,777,000 returns received through January 31—four days of filing. But the overall pattern of figures reported by the Internal Revenue Service resemble the shape of past seasons.

That total was down 1.5 percent from 16,035,000 for the season through Feb. 2, 2019.

Most recent seasons have started on a down note.  But the pattern that is most noticeable is the continued strength of self-prepared returns compared to those filed by paid preparers. 5,236,000 returns efiled by preparers were off by 3.8 percent from 5,440,000 efiled for last year’s corresponding period. The 9,887,000 self-prepared efiles rose by 1.1 percent over 9,782,000 a year earlier.

The total number of efiles were 15,123,000, down .7 percent from 15,222,000.

As with the 2019 filing season, refunds also started on a down note, although the size of the average refund was up slightly. The 4,299,000 refunds issued this year were off 8 percent from 4,672,000 in last year’s comparable period. The average refund was $1,869, a rise of .2 percent from $1,865.

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 Monday, 10 February 2020
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