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.