With two weeks left in the tax season, the IRS releases data showing that more taxpayers are filing their tax return electronically and opted to received their tax refunds via direct deposit.

The Internal Service Revenue announced statistics on the 2011 tax filing season that revealed an increasing number of taxpayers choosing quicker methods of filing their tax returns and receiving tax refunds – arguably a result of the greater adoption of technology.

As of March 25, 2011, the IRS has received nearly 82.3 million individual income tax returns and processed over 80.3 million of them. These numbers do not account for the remaining three weeks left in the tax season.

The IRS said, “Usually 20 to 25 percent of all taxpayers file in the final two weeks of the tax season. And, usually, about 7 percent of taxpayers seek a six-month extension to file.”

Over 72 million taxpayers e-filed their tax returns either through a professional tax preparer or on their own – a 6.8% increase from last year. Additionally, over 57 million taxpayers chose direct deposit as a method to received their tax refunds – a 4.6% increase from last year.

IRS 2011 Filing Statistics

Cumulative thru weeks ending 3/26/10 and 3/25/1120102011% Change
Total Individual Income Tax Returns Received82,533,00082,276,000-0.3%
Total Individual Income Tax Returns Processed77.812,00080,318,0003.2%
E-filing Receipts:
Total E-filed Receipts66,542,00071,067,0006.8%
Receipts Filed by Tax Professionals42,354,00044,712,0005.6%
Receipts Self-Prepared24,188,00026,355,0009.0%
Web Usage:
Visits to IRS.gov141,109,467151,305,6117.2%
Total Refunds:
Amount$204.260 Billion$206.477 Billion1.1%
Average Refund$2,978$2,952-0.9%
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Amount$175.038 Billion$179.827 Billion2.7%
Average Refund$3,198$3,141-1.8%

According to the IRS, an e-filed return with requested direct deposit can result in a tax refund within 2 to 3 weeks compared to the 6 to 8 weeks it takes to process tax refund from a paper return with requested paper check.

For the want of speedy tax refund, more taxpayers appear to prefer filing returns electronically and electing to receive refunds through direct deposit. When both options of selected, the time it takes to receive a tax refund is reduced by more than half.

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