Federal tax filing is lagging despite the popularity of telephone and computer filing, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday.
Through Feb. 16, the IRS had received 26.2 million tax returns, down 6.5 percent from the same period a year ago.
But telephone filing - available to eligible taxpayers nationwide for the first time this year - totaled 1.79 million, nearly quadruple last year’s number.
Meanwhile, Form 1040PC paper returns prepared by individuals or professional tax preparers using personal computers totaled 1 million, up from 228,000 last year.
The average refund so far is $1,448, compared with $1,117 during the same period last year. Associated Press