Taxpayers used the Internal Revenue Service Web site at record levels as the filing deadline approached, the agency said.

On April 17, there were 3,385,936 visits to IRS.gov, topping the prior single-day record set last Tax Day, April 15, 2005, by nearly 50,000 visits.

IRS.gov also set a new Web traffic record on April 17, recording 3,237 hits per second at 12:30 p.m. EDT. This figure surpasses the previous peak usage day on April 15, 2005, when the site experienced 2,638 hits per second.

The IRS Web site is one of the most heavily used sites on the Internet during the tax filing season, and the week's record usage followed a redesign of the Web site last fall that enhanced search capabilities and provided intuitive navigation.

"The record usage underscores that IRS.gov is an easy way to get tax information," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson, in a statement. "We've made improvements to the Web site to provide better service for a growing number of taxpayers who use the Internet."

The IRS said that many of the Web site's most popular features would remain available for people expecting a refund, or who have filed for an extension. The agency is expecting to receive 9.6 million extension requests during 2006.Taxpayers can also check on their refund status by clicking "Where's My Refund?" on www.IRS.gov. The feature has been used more than 24 million times between Jan. 1 and mid-April.

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