Taxpayers Filing Earlier and Banking Larger Refunds in 2009

Taxpayers are filing earlier and receiving larger refunds so far this year, according to early filing season statistics released today by the Internal Revenue Service.

As of Feb. 27, 2009, the IRS had received 56 million individual tax returns, a slight increase over the previous year. And, the average individual refund was $2,869, a 9 percent increase or $232 more than the same time last year.

The IRS notes that possible reasons for the larger refunds may include taxpayers benefiting from the recovery rebate credit and other tax breaks such as the first-time homebuyer credit and the additional standard deduction for real estate taxes. The average refund amount generally will decrease slightly as the filing season progresses.

More taxpayers choose to receive their refunds through direct deposit each year. As of Feb. 27, more than 84 percent of all refunds were issued through direct deposit, up from 81 percent for the same period last year.

While the IRS has issued almost 3 percent more refunds this year compared to the same time last year, the number of taxpayers who choose to receive their refunds quickly and safely through direct deposit is up almost 7 percent compared to the same time last year. On Feb. 27, the average direct deposit refund totaled $3,063.

The IRS cautioned that year-to-year analysis of total returns filed will be an anomaly this year because last year

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