The Internal Revenue Service officially began its 2007 filing season on Thursday, making note of new developments, including telephone excise tax refunds, a new refund deposit feature and recently enacted tax breaks that may require extra attention.

This week the agency is sending out 17 million 1040 tax packages for 2006 to taxpayers who have previously filed paper returns -- the number of paper tax booklets being mailed to Americans continues to decline as more people opt for electronic filing. The agency expects to process about 136 million individual tax returns for 2006, with more than half of those filed electronically.

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