In numbers that are in no way surprising, more Americans are realizing the many benefits of filing online.
In fact, the IRS announced that e-filing is off to a fast start in 2008 with more than 38 million tax returns filed electronically so far. This figure is up 5 percent from the 36 million returns filed for the same period last year, with double digit growth coming from taxpayers filing from their home computers. More than 12.3 million returns were filed from home, an increase of almost 14 percent from the same time last year.
As for the total amount of all refunds, $106.7 billion has been issued so far in 2008 with the average refund amount of $2,708, up two percent from the same time last year. So far this year, the IRS has directly deposited 33 million refunds out of the total of 39 million refunds. The direct deposit refunds were valued at just over $96 billion with the average amount of a direct deposit refund of $2,900.
However, while many people are getting fat tax refunds, it just causes me to worry that too many people are giving the government an interest-free loan with their refunds instead of allowing that money to work for them! (see my post on how many W-4 deductions to take for more information).
The IRS is also reminding those who have not filed their 2007 returns yet that direct deposit is the fastest way to get both regular refunds and economic stimulus payments. These stimulus payments will be direct deposited for those eligible filers who select that option when filing their 2007 tax returns.