IRS: Half of '14 returns are in

The IRS has received more than half the tax returns its expects this year, the agency said Thursday.

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Taxpayers had already filed more than 75 million returns by March 14, a month before the filing deadline, the IRS said. The agency expects to get about 149 million returns this year.

The returns received is a slight increase over 2013, the agency said. Those returns have led to almost $180 billion worth of refunds, about a 4 percent increase over the previous year.

But the agency has also seen a pretty steep drop – more than 10 percent – in visits to the IRS website this year.

John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner, has urged taxpayers to rely heavily on the website, saying that budget cuts have hurt the agency’s ability to answer telephone calls. The IRS only answered about six in 10 calls last year, though Koskinen has said he hopes to boost that number this year.