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IRS Well Ahead of Last Year’s Pace in Processing Returns

March 27, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Internal Revenue Service is 45 percent ahead of last year’s pace in processing tax returns and issuing refunds, a spokesman said today.

Through March 21, 49.4 million individual returns had been received by the 10 regional centers where returns are processed, slightly below the 50 million received in the same period last year. That means more than 50 million returns will be filed during the last 3 1/2 weeks of the filing season.

This year, IRS spokesman Larry Batdorf said, 34.1 million returns have been processed, compared with 23.5 million at this time a year ago, when computer and staffing problems delayed processing of millions of returns for several weeks. The backlog of unprocessed returns is about 15 million this year, compared with almost 27 million at the sape period in 1985.

The IRS has approved 24.3 million refunds totaling $18.1 billion this year, copmpared with 16.8 million totaling $11.9 billion last year. This year’s average refund has been $771, up from $710 a year ago.

With the April 15 filing deadline approaching, ″we have no major processing problems anywhere in the country,″ Batdorf said. ″We have every reason to believe the end of the filing season will be as successful as the rest.″