The Internal Revenue Service said it received nearly 80 million electronically filed tax returns this year, breaking last year's record of 73.3 million.

The 2007 level is up about 9 percent from the same period last year. Of the 139.3 million returns filed in 2007, 79.98 million, or about 57.4 percent, were filed electronically.

"It was another record-breaking year for e-file," said IRS Acting Commissioner Linda E. Stiff in a statement. "Paper returns continue to drop year after year."

Since 2001, the number of electronically filed returns has almost doubled. Over the past decade the number of e-filers has increased fourfold. More than 22.6 million returns have been e-filed by taxpayers doing their own returns, up from 20.3 million from the same period last year. More than 57.4 million returns were e-filed by tax professionals, up from nearly 52.9 million last year.

At the same time, more people this year chose to have their tax refunds directly deposited. So far this year, the IRS has directly deposited 61.4 million refunds, up 8 percent from last year.

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