IRS gets 27 million returns in one week

The IRS says it received 27.3 million tax returns in the first week of filing season, a 2.5 percent boost over last year.

The tax agency says that the vast majority – almost 96 percent – of those returns were filed electronically, their preferred method for receiving returns.

Roughly 13 million returns have been sent to the IRS via a taxpayer’s home computer, an almost 15 percent jump from 2013. Refunds are up even more – 18 percent – with the average household receiving some $3,300.

The 2014 filing season started on Jan. 31 this year, after a short delay caused by last year’s government shutdown.

John Koskinen, the new IRS commissioner, has advised taxpayers against calling the agency for assistance, citing the IRS’s reduced budget in recent years. Koskinen has said he’ll press for more robust funding during his term as commissioner.

The start of the tax filing season – and the refunds the government sends out – is also one of the major reasons the Treasury Department said that Congress had a shorter window to deal with the debt limit this month.