IRS Says E-Filing Growing More Popular

More taxpayers filed their taxes electronically this year than ever before.

For the first time, the Internal Revenue Service predicts that more than half of all individual tax returns will be e-filed. Through March 25, 66 percent of all returns, or 49 million, were e-filed. The increase is 7 percent over last year.

“More and more taxpayers are turning to e-file and other electronic programs,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson in a statement. “This shapes up as a really strong year. Taxpayers who haven't filed yet should check into e-file and Free File.”

Free File, offered through the IRS and a partnership of tax software manufacturers, and is available at IRS.gov and allows free access to private-sector federal tax preparation software. So far this year, 3.74 million returns have been filed through the Free File program, compared to 2.6 million at this time last year.

Taxpayers are taking advantage of other conveniences, the IRS announced. Almost a half million people are paying their taxes with credit cards, and record numbers are opting to have their refunds directly deposited into their bank accounts. The IRS said that 64 percent of all refunds were paid through direct deposit so far this year, compared to 60 percent for the same time last year. If you choose direct deposit, you'll get your refund a week sooner than if you wait for a paper check.

Taxpayers apparently like how technology makes tax preparation easier, but they also want to speak to a real person. According to Federal Computer Week, a random phone survey conducted for the IRS Oversight Board found that 57 percent said they were “very likely” to use a toll-free telephone number to ask questions.

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