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Robert Bliss, Director of Communication, Department of Revenue

Filing season is well underway, with 560,627 returns processed as of February 12. As of this time last year, DOR had processed 518,031 returns, so there has been an 8 percent increase. DOR expects to receive about 3.3 million returns this tax year. The increased number probably means taxpayers are filing early to get refunds.

Indeed, almost 80 percent of those filing have received refunds totaling $222,910,404 million, up from $218.1 million a year ago. The average refund to date is $503, up from $488 a year ago.

The bulk of the returns processed to date were filed electronically; 519,834 this year, up from 477,950 a year ago. That amounts to 92.7 percent of returns processed so far.

The Commonwealth has already paid out $2.366 million in Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credits to 3,154 senior citizen filers, with the average credit $750. As of this time a year ago, 2,901 senior taxpayers had received $2.065 million in credits with the average credit $712.

The number of taxpayers taking the Earned Income Tax Credit has increased to 123,938 from 108,335 a year ago, while the amount of credit returned to those taxpayers is $45.5 million, up from $36.47 million a year ago.

One final note to those taxpayers who use tax preparers: Avoid Refund Anticipation Loans. You wind up paying big money for little gain. Sure, the RALs allow you to walk out of the tax preparer's office with a check. But it is a much smaller check, thanks to the interest charged, than if you had told the tax preparer to wire your refund to your bank account.

Right now, the average time for arefund to reach you if you have filed a paper return is 5 days. And if you have filed electronically, it is just 3.1 says. Not very long, and you wind up with all your money back.
 

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