This story is part Taxes 2023CNET’s coverage of the best tax software, tax tips, and everything you need to file and track your refund.
Tax season officially started on January 23 and the IRS is off to a strong start: according to to data released by the agency on Fridaysome 3.7 million more declarations have been processed so far compared to the same period last year.
As of Feb. 10, the IRS had filed 26.6 million federal tax returns, an increase of 13.6% from the 23.4 million filed on Feb. 11, 2022. (Tax season started a day later late last year.)
Continue reading: How to track your IRS refund
The total number of returns submitted rose 9.1%, from 26.4 million to 28.8 million, suggesting that Americans are getting better at filing their returns early.
The IRS has had its funding boosted by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022which added nearly $80 billion to its budget over the next 10 years.
Some of the money has already been spent on improving technology and hiring more IRS customer service representatives, according to the Treasury Department.
This helped the IRS with the backlogs and staff shortages that plagued last year’s tax season.
Here’s how the IRS is doing so far.
For more information on taxes, discover all the tax reductions available to ownersand discover the child tax credit changes.
More returns processed
As of February 10the IRS processed 26.6 million federal tax returns, a 13.6% increase from the 23.4 million it received this time last year.
More refunds issued
The agency issued 13.3 million refunds, 48.4% more than the nearly 9 million issued in 2022. (The IRS struggled to pay refunds in a timely manner Last year.)
To date, reimbursements total $26.6 billion, or 27.6% more than last year.
These statistics could change considerably in a few weeks, with the IRS saying that people who claimed the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit cannot get their refund until February 28.
Partly due to the expiration of some enhanced tax credits, the average refund has decreased 14% so far, from $2,323 in 2022 to $1,997 in 2023.
On the positive side, the number of direct deposit refunds increased by more than a third, from 9 million last year to 12.2 million this year.
Direct deposit payments are usually received within three weekscompared to six to eight weeks for paper checks.
The IRS says e-filing is the easiest way to ensure your return and any refunds are processed quickly. More than 94% of the 28.8 million tax returns submitted so far in 2023 have been filed electronically.
About 39% of them were prepared by tax professionals, the rest were prepared by you.
Visits to IRS website were down 13.4% this season, likely because of all the improved credits last year that caused ratepayers to seek clarification.
Continue reading: Why Your Tax Refund Might Be Less This Year