The Internal Revenue Service said that electronic filing is already off to a strong start, with more than 38 million tax returns filed electronically so far.

The 2008 e-file level is up 5 percent from the 36 million tax returns filed in the same period last year. Double-digit growth is coming from taxpayers who are filing their returns from their home computers. For the week ending Feb. 22, 2008, more than 12.3 million returns were filed electronically from home, a 14 percent increase from the same time last year.

Overall, 46.9 million tax returns have been filed so far in 2008, a 1.5 percent increase from the 46.2 million returns filed at the same point in 2007.

So far in 2008, $106.7 billion in refunds has been issued, with the average refund amounting to $2,708, up 2 percent from the same time last year.

This year, the IRS has directly deposited 33 million refunds, out of a total of 39 million refunds issued so far. Direct deposit refunds in total were valued at just over $96 billion, with an average amount of $2,900.

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