The Internal Revenue Service sent out 17.7 million 1040 tax packages during the first of January 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 IRS expects to process about 135 million individual tax returns in 2006 and to see continued growth for its E-file service. The agency passed a milestone last year as more than half the nation's taxpayers filed their tax returns electronically. IRS e-file will be available beginning later in the month.

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