Individual taxpayers electronically filed 39.2 million returns through March 4 -- up 2.1 million or about 6 percent over last year's numbers, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The biggest increase came in home computer use, which was up 14 percent. Out of 55 million returns filed as of March 4, 72 percent were e-filed -- up from 67 percent the previous year. While this percentage will decline as April 15 approaches, the IRS expects for the first time to have more than half of all individual tax returns filed electronically. The jump in computer use coincides with another strong year for the Free File program, under which the IRS and a consortium of tax software manufacturers offer free services. More than 3 million returns came in through Free File through March 2, a 43 percent increase from 2.15 million returns for the same period last year. Record numbers of individuals are choosing to have their refunds directly deposited into their bank accounts. So far this year, 72 percent of all refunds are through direct deposit -- up from 68 percent over the same period last year.
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