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The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now, after an initial drop, seeing a resurgence in the number of tax returns it is receiving from taxpayers in the 2017 tax season, which began on January 23.
The IRS reported that, by February 24, 2017, the number of individual returns received had declined by only 10.6 percent to 52.1 m, compared to 58.3m received during the same period in 2016. Three weeks earlier, on February 3, the IRS had reported a 24.3 percent decrease.
The significant slowdown earlier in the month was said to be due to the IRS's delay until February 15 in processing returns claiming the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit. That delay was stipulated by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, in order to allow the IRS more time to weed out fraudulent credit and refund claims.
The IRS reported that, by February 24, the decline in the number of refunds issued had also reduced, to 11 percent – from 46.5m in 2016 to 41.4m this year – as against the 62 percent fall experienced by February 3. The average refund had also recovered to USD3,070, compared to USD2,050 earlier in the month.
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