IRS OPENS 2006 FILING SEASON: The Internal Revenue Service sent out 17.7 million 1040 tax packages during the first week 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-filing service. The agency passed a milestone last year as more than half the nation's taxpayers filed their tax returns electronically.

New features for the service's Web site, www.irs.gov, in 2006 include:

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