Electronic filing continues to show a strong increase, with e-filed tax returns running more than 6 percent ahead of last year, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Out of 61 million returns filed as of March 11, 42.7 million, or nearly 70 percent, were e-filed -- up from 65 percent the previous year. While this percentage is expected decline as April 15 approaches, the IRS expects for the first time to have more than half of all individual tax returns filed electronically. Out of tax returns e-filed so far, the biggest increase is among those who prepare their own returns on a home computer -- 10.6 million returns, up more than 14 percent over results from the same period last year. The jump in computer use coincides with another strong year from the Free File program. The IRS and a consortium of tax software manufacturers offer free services through Free File, which is available at www.irs.gov. More than 3.33 million returns came in through Free File through March 9, which is a 44 percent increase from 2.32 million returns for the same period last year.

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