Tax law changes, expanded electronic services from the Internal Revenue Service, simplified tax filing rules for certain forms and an expected increase in total returns mark the start of the 2005 tax filing season.

While the total number of filers has remained about the same for the past two years - at about 132 million - the rebounding economy and lower unemployment rate indicate a significant increase in filers, according to observers. The IRS anticipates 133 million filers this year, while Liberty Tax Service's John Hewitt predicts up to 2 million additional filers.

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