Electronic tax filing for individuals and businesses set a record in 2008, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

Individual taxpayers e-filed nearly 90 million tax returns this year, an increase of more than 12 percent compared to last year. Of 155 million tax returns filed, 58 percent were filed electronically. Individual taxpayers filed nearly 27 million returns from their home computers, a 19 percent increase over last year.

On the business tax side, businesses filed almost 2 million corporate and partnership income tax returns, an increase of more than 50 percent since last year.

"More people with home computers and businesses embraced electronic filing this year," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman (pictured) in a statement.

During 2008, taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $54,000 or less, or about 70 percent of individual taxpayers, had the option of choosing to e-file for free through IRS Free File, a partnership between the IRS and some software manufacturers. Almost 4.8 million tax returns were filed through Free File, an increase of 24 percent over last year's total of almost 3.9 million returns.

More taxpayers also chose to receive their refunds through direct deposit during 2008. The IRS made 66 million direct deposit payments in 2008, up 8 percent from 61 million payments at the same time in 2007. Overall, the IRS issued 107 million tax refund payments in 2008, up almost 2 percent from 105 million refund payments for the same time in 2007. As of Oct. 31, the average refund for 2008 was $2,400, up 4 percent from $2,309 at the same time in 2007.

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