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WASHINGTON – At the mid-point of tax filing season, the Internal Revenue Service said that taxpayers have used e-file at a record rate. Out of 47 million tax returns filed through Feb. 25, 74% of them were e-filed – up from 69% the previous year. While this percentage traditionally declines as April 15 approaches, the IRS expects for the first time to have more than half of all individual tax returns filed electronically. In all, more than 35 million returns have been e-filed this year. The biggest jump comes from self-prepared tax returns filed with a computer, which has increased nearly 14% to 8.7 million returns. The growth in e-file comes as record tax refunds are being sent to taxpayers. The average refund so far is $2,436 – a record amount and more than $200 more than last year, the IRS said.

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