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DIY Returns Closing in on 2020 Totals

 The number of returns handled by the Internal Revenue Service for the late-starting tax season continued to catch up with year-ago figures by about five percentage points a week. If the trend continues, the number of self-prepared efiles could reach the 2020 level when the Internal Revenue Service release statistics for the season through March 19.


There were 34,199,000 self-prepared efiles received for 29 filing days through March 12, leaving the total 4.9 percent behind the 35,973,000 efiled in 47 days through March 13, 2020. When the IRS issued the filing statistics for the current season through March 5, the number self-prepared returns were off 10.1 percent from the prior season.

Total  returns received caught up with the corresponding period a year earlier at the same rate. There were 66,065,000 received for the season to date, down 13.3. percent from  76,191,000 a year earlier. The March 5 report showed totals were 18.1 percent behind the period ended March 6, 2020,

There were 63,492,000 total efiles, which was 12.2 percent behind the 2020 total of 72,309,000. Efiles  from tax professionals his 29,293,000, off 19.4 percent from 36,336,000. That compared to the March 5 reported in which that category was 23.9 off last year’s total. The IRS has issued 42,513,000 refunds, off 28.2 percent from 59,235,000. That is an improvement from 31.6 percent down for the statistics issued a week earlier.

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
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