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FOUR WEEKS TO GO AND TAX FILINGS REMAIN SLUGGISH

 WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- With just four weeks left in the tax season, return filings continue to run behind the pace of recent years and the average refund amount is dropping. The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers who may owe taxes that they can file now and request an installment plan, or file now and send the payment by the April 15 deadline.
 The IRS issued 6 million refunds last week, usually the peak week for refunds. The IRS has received a total of 48.2 million returns. These are the smallest figures for this point in the filing season in the last five years. The average amount of last week's refunds -- $894 -- was 2 percent less than the same week last year.
 One reason for this year's slower pace may be that taxpayers are finding smaller refunds -- or even unexpected balances due -- as a result of last March's automatic withholding rate adjustments. While the total tax was unchanged, some of what might have been this year's refund was in 1992's paychecks.
 If your tax withholding was inadequate last year, the IRS advises you to get a new Form W-4 to adjust your 1993 withholding as soon as possible. If you can't pay the full tax, you can attach Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, to the front of your return. The IRS will let you know if your installment plan is acceptable within 30 days.
 Taxpayers who are getting refunds will have their money sooner if they file now. Refund processing has averaged about four weeks, but will gradually lengthen as April approaches. Those filing at the deadline may not get their refunds until early June.
 Although total return receipts are down, electronic filing has been about 12 percent ahead of last year, with 10.3 million returns so far. The usually higher refunds associated with these returns have kept the cumulative average refund amount higher -- presently $1,008, up 1 percent from last year.
 Taxpayers needing federal tax forms or publications should act soon to get them in time. Call the IRS toll-free number -- 800-TAX-FORM -- before April, or check your local bank, post office or library for available forms.
 1993 FILING SEASON STATISTICS
 Cumulative through the week ending 3/13/92 and 3/12/93
 1992 1993 Pct. Change
 Individual Income Tax Returns:
 Total Receipts 52,356,000 48,189,000 -8.0
 Total Processed 41,097,000 37,536,000 -8.7
 Filing Alternatives --
 Total Receipts:
 Electronic Filing 9,202,000 10,329,000 12.2
 1040PC Format 632,000 1,855,000 193.5
 TeleFile 112,000 128,000 14.3
 Refunds Certified by
 the Martinsburg Computing Center:
 Number 29,784,000 27,493,000 -7.7
 Amount of principal $29.657 billion $27.724 billion -6.5
 Average refund $996 $1,008 1.3
 (NOTE: These amounts should NOT be compared to the "processed" numbers above, since those figures reflect Service Center processing, which is completed at least a week before refunds are certified at the Computing Center.)
 Taxpayer Service Filing Season Statistics
 through 3/14/92 through 3/13/93
 Toll-free phone
 calls answered 11,023,917 10,940,368
 Tele-Tax calls 16,759,763 14,890,848
 Technical tapes 2,792,313 2,807,412
 Refund Info. 13,967,450 12,083,436
 -0- 3/17/93
 /CONTACT: Internal Revenue Servicer, Public Affairs Division, 202-622-4000/


CO: International Revenue Service ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

TW -- DC023 -- 8960 03/17/93 15:35 EST
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 17, 1993
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