The Internal Revenue Service reported Thursday that more than 48 million tax refunds had been issued by the end of February, a 5.6 percent increase compared to the same period last year, with the size of the average tax refund also up.

As of Feb. 28, the average refund this year is $3,034, up 3 percent compared to the average refund amount for the same time last year. Nearly 88 percent of the tax refunds issued to date have been directly deposited into the accounts of taxpayers, saving them time and a trip to the bank, according to the IRS.

The number of returns filed electronically is also up slightly from the same time last year, while the number of taxpayers filing from home computers is up 7.5 percent.

At the end of the fourth week of the filing season, the IRS said it had received nearly 40 percent of the tax returns it expects to receive for the entire year.

2014 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

Cumulative statistics comparing 3/01/13 and 2/28/14

Individual Income Tax Returns:

2013

2014

% Change

Total Receipts

58,044,000

58,883,000

1.4

Total Processed

51,778,000

57,410,000

10.9

 

 

 

 

E-filing Receipts:

 

 

 

TOTAL          

53,612,000

54,942,000

2.5

Tax Professionals

30,466,000

30,053,000

-1.4

Self-prepared

23,146,000

24,889,000

7.5

 

 

 

 

Web Usage:

 

 

 

Visits to IRS.gov

180,140,998

165,204,642

-8.3

 

 

 

 

Total Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

45,862,000

48,429,000

5.6

Amount

$135.025

Billion

$146.918

Billion

8.8

Average refund

$2,944

$3,034

3.0

 

 

 

 

Direct Deposit Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

41,137,000

42,380,000

3.0

Amount

$126.032

Billion

$131.203

Billion

4.1

Average refund

$3,054

$3,096

1.1