Taxpayers will file 240 million federal tax returns and supplemental documents during calendar year 2009, according to projections from the IRS Office of Research, but that’s down 4.3 percent from estimated return filings of 250.8 million for 2008.

The number includes individual, corporation, partnership and estate tax returns, as well as extensions of time to file applications and amended returns.

“The primary cause of the large decrease in total returns from 2008 to 2009 is the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008,” wrote IRS operations research analyst Jeff Matsuo in the winter 2009 edition of the IRS’s Statistics of Income Bulletin. “In February 2008, the stimulus program was signed into law. As a result, the volume of Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ returns are estimated to have increased by approximately 14.4 million returns above baseline projections in CY 2008. Adjusting for spillover effects of the economic stimulus package, the projected total volume decreases back to its historical trend at the national level.”

No projections are available for filings that may occur as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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