February 15, 1990
More Taxpayers Are Filing Their Returns Earlier
WASHINGTON - More taxpayers are filing their federal income
tax returns earlier this year than they did last year, more of them
are getting refunds, and the refunds are larger too.
As of February 9, 1990, the Internal Revenue Service
received over 17 million individual income tax returns and has
processed almost 6.8 million of them. This represents an
increase of almost 3 percent in the number of returns received
and an increase of 17 percent in the number processed. The IRS
has authorized over 2 million refunds so far, up about 23
percent, and the average refund is $871.
Taxpayers who haven't filed their returns yet may want to
consider getting special help with their tax questions through
volunteer programs run by the IRS. This income tax filing season
marks the 20th anniversary of the IRS's commitment to providing
help to taxpayers through the efforts of volunteers.
Each year specially trained volunteers provide tax
information, hand out tax forms and publications, answer tax
questions, help owners of small businesses, and help taxpayers
complete basic tax returns -- all free of charge. Last year
almost 85,000 volunteers helped almost 4 million taxpayers.
The IRS volunteer program began in the 1970 filing season
when 7,500 volunteers helped about 100,000 taxpayers as part of
the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA. In 1989
VITA volunteers helped over 1.3 million taxpayers.
Tax Counseling for the Elderly, or TCE, was set up in 1978
to help taxpayers 60 and over. Like VITA, volunteers, they work
in neighborhood locations like shopping malls, churches and
community centers. TCE volunteers also visit retirement homes
and hospitals and even visit people who are homebound. In 1989
TCE helped almost 1.4 million taxpayers.
Volunteers must complete special tax training each year and
pass a test to be certified as assistors. They also work with
state taxing agencies so they can help taxpayers with their state
tax returns, providing "one-stop shopping".
To find out about the locations and hours of volunteer
services available locally, call the IRS toll-free telephone
number for your area listed in the tax instruction package or 1-
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