IRS: Four of five refunds already out the door

The IRS said Thursday that it had sent out some 85 million refunds for this year’s filing season, or roughly four out of every five refunds it will circulate.

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In all, the agency said Thursday it had received almost 113 million returns by Friday, or roughly the same it had in a similar time span last year.

About nine in 10 of those returns were filed electronically, the IRS said, a slight uptick from 2013.

The agency also reported that visits to its website fell almost 10 percent from last year, down to 252 million.

John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner, had urged taxpayers to rely on the website whenever possible, blaming budget cuts for the agency only being able to answer about six in 10 phone calls last year.

Koskinen said this month that fewer than 70 percent of callers this year would likely be able to get through, even as the number of calls dropped. The IRS chief said the number of calls likely dropped because of the lack of major tax changes in 2013.