Income Tax Return, e-File Statistics

eFile, Tax
Statistics

The IRS reported that as of December 2021, approximately 152,300,000 tax returns were e-filed for Tax Year 2020 out of a total of 169,098,000 2020 Returns filed. This is around the same number of 2019 Returns e-filed in 2020 (152,802,000). The amount of e-filed returns increases steadily each year as paper filed returns become less popular among both taxpayers and tax professionals. As such, beginning the 2022 Tax Season for 2021 Returns, around 96% of 2021 Returns have been e-filed, totaling around 70 million e-filed returns in the first few months of the filing season.

Electronic tax return filing has become popular and trusted amongst taxpayers over the years. See how the eFile.com app works and sign up for a free account to prepare and e-file your current year taxes entirely online.

eFilers Versus Paper Filers

  • So far for 2021 Returns filed and e-filed in 2022, the IRS has issued around 93 million refunds as of April 29, 2022. Around $279 billion has been issued for an average refund amount of $3,102. Around 87 million of these refunds were sent via direct deposit.
    • Additionally, of all e-filed returns, roughly 47% of those were self-prepared returns by individual taxpayers.
  • United States taxpayers who prepare and e-file their own tax returns continues to grow steadily. In 2021, taxpayers self-prepared and e-filed 67,376,000 tax returns by the end of December 2021.
    • In 2020 for Tax Year 2019, 72,220,000 taxpayers prepared and e-filed their federal tax returns themselves.
  • Tax Refunds via Direct Bank Deposit: As of December 2021, over 113,283,000 taxpayers received faster federal tax refunds via direct bank deposits into their accounts through electronic transfers out of a total of 129,841,000 refunds issued for 2020 Returns. The average tax refund received by direct deposit for was $2,815. Did you know that, in most cases, a high refund is money you handed over to the IRS during the year that was alright rightfully yours? Increase your paycheck now instead of receiving a high refund a year later.
    • In 2020 for 2019 Returns, the IRS issued 102,695,000 refunds via direct deposit for an average refund of $2,622. This was out of 125,851,000 total refunds issued.
  • See the 2020 IRS Data Book with statistical information for 2019 Returns.

eFile Tax Return Statistics by Tax Year

The table below shows the total amount of tax returns filed by tax year, the amount of those which were filed electronically or e-filed, and the percentage of those e-filed.

Tax Year
Returns Filed
Returns e-Filed
Percent e-Filed
2021*
141,272,000
136,484,000
95.3%
2020
169,098,000
152,300,000
90%
2019
169,684,000
152,802,000
90.1%
2018
155,798,000
138,217,000
88.7%
2017
154,444,000
135,459,000
87.7%
2016
152,235,000
132,319,000
87.0%
2015
152,544,000
131,851,000
86.4%
2014
150,927,000
128,784,000
85.5%
2013
149,684,000
125,821,000
84.1%
2012
148,203,000
119,560,000
80.7%
2011
137,200,000
113,074,000
82.4%
2010
145,320,000
112,203,000
77.2%
2009
141,376,000
94,980,000
67.9%
2008
153,650,000
89,853,000
58.5%
2007
140,188,000
79,979,000
57.1%
2006
136,071,000
73,255,000
53.84%
2005
133,933,000
68,476,000
51.1%
2004
132,200,000
61,507,000
46.5%
2003
131,557,000
52,944,000
40.2%
2002
131,728,000
46,892,000
35.6%
2001
130,965,000
40,244,000
30.7%

*2021 statistics released by the IRS as of April 15, 2022. This page will be updated periodically as the IRS releases data.

e-Filing has become more trusted and utilized by taxpayers through its years. See the history of electronic filing here and how it came to be where it is now as well as an IRS review of the 2021 Filing Season for 2020 Returns. The eFile Tax App handles online preparation and e-filing - start preparing your taxes now.

2021 Tax Season (2020 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through December 4, 2020 and December 3, 2021)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2019 2020 % Change
Total Receipts 169,153,000 169,098,000 0.0
Total Processed 163,217,000 168,453000 3.2
e-filing Receipts:
Total 152,802,000 152,300,000 -0.3
Tax Professionals 80,583,000 84,924,000 5.4
Self-prepared 72,220,000 67,376,000 -6.7
Total Refunds:
Number 125,703,000 129,346,000 3.3
Amount $320.022 Bill. $365.499 Bill. 14.2
Average refund $2,546 $2,815 10.6
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 102,623,000 113,283,000 10.4
Amount $268.885 bill. $326.184 Bill. 21.3
Average refund $2,620 $2,879 10

2020 Tax Season (2019 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through December 13, 2019 and December 11, 2020)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2019 2020 % Change
Total Receipts 155,660,000 169,684,000 9.0
Total Processed 155,429,000 163,654,000 5.3
e-filing Receipts:
Total 138,217,000 152,802,000 10.6
Tax Professionals 80,630,000 80,582,000 -0.1
Self-prepared 57,587,000 >72,220,000 25.4
Total Refunds:
Number 112,254,000 125,851,000 12.1
Amount $322.176 Bill. $320.851 Bill. -0.4
Average refund $2,870 $2,549 -11.2
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 92,021,000 102,695,000 11.6
Amount $274.024 Bill. $269.261 Bill. -1.7
Average refund $2,978 $2,622 >-12

2019 Tax Season (2018 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through December 27, 2018 and December 28, 2019)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2018 2019 % Change
Total Receipts 153,383,000 154,297,000 0.6
Total Processed 152,827,000 153,721,000 0.6
e-filing Receipts:
Total 135,459,000 138,217,000 2.0
Tax Professionals 80,286,000 80,630,000 0.4
Self-prepared 55,173,000 57,587,000 4.4
Total Refunds:
Number 112,154,000 111,811,000 -0.03
Amount $326.333 Bill. $320.805 Bill. -1.7
Average refund $2,910 $2,869 -1.4
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 90,164,000 92,059,000 2.1
Amount $273.697 Bill. $274.253 Bill. 0.2
Average refund $3,036 $2,979 -1.9

2018 Tax Season (2017 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through November 24, 2017, and November 23, 2018)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2017 2018 % Change
Total Receipts 151,825,000 154,444,000 1.7
Total Processed 151,446,000 154,058,000 1.7
e-filing Receipts:
Total 132,319,000 135,459,000 2.4
Tax Professionals 78,924,000 80,286,000 1.7
Self-prepared 53,395,000 55,173,000 3.3
Total Refunds:
Number 111,709,000 111,911,000 0.2
Amount $322.599 Bill. $324.426 Bill. 0.6
Average refund $2,888 $2,899 0.4
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 89,402,000 90,067,000 0.7
Amount $270.250 Bill. $272.980 Bill. 1.0
Average refund $3,023 $3,031 0.3

2017 Tax Season (2016 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through April 22, 2016, and April 21, 2017)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2016 2017 % Change
Total Receipts 136,528,000 135,638,000 -0.7
Total Processed 129,456,000 128,789,000 -0.5
e-filing Receipts:
Total 122,546,000 122,164,000 -0.3
Tax Professionals 70,864,000 70,401,000 -0.7
Self-prepared 51,682,000 51,763,000 0.2
Total Refunds:
Number 97,079,000 97,104,000 0.0
Amount $263.197 Bill. $268.296 Bill. 1.9
Average refund $2,711 $2,763 1.9
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 81,221,000 81,646,000 0.5
Amount $234.269 Bill. 239.410 Bill. 2.2
Average refund $2,884 $2,932 1.7

2016 Tax Season (2015 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through December 25, 2015 and December 30, 2016)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2015 2016 % Change
Total Receipts 150,991,000 152,544,000 1.0
Total Processed 150,727,000 152,250,000 1.0
e-filing Receipts:
Total 128,784,000 131,851,000 2.4
Tax Professionals 78,406,000 78,736,000 0.4
Self-prepared 50,378,000 53,115,000 5.4
Total Refunds:
Number 109,426,000 111,069,000 1.5
Amount $306.016 Bill. $317.615 Bill. 3.8
Average refund $2,797 $2,860 2.3
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 86,228,000 88,416,000 2.5
Amount $254.944 Bill. $264.822 Bill. 3.9
Average refund $2,957 $2,995 1.3

2015 Tax Season (2014 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through December 26, 2014, and December 25, 2015)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2014 2015 % Change
Total Receipts 149,685,000 150,927,000 0.8%
Total Processed 149,510,000 150,694,000 0.8%
e-Filing Receipts:
Total 125,821,000 128,784,000 2.4%
Tax Professionals 77,875,000 78,406,000 0.7%
Self-prepared 47,946,000 50,378,000 5.1%
Total Refunds:
Number 109,499,000 109,426,000 -0.1%
Amount $305.734 Bill. $306.016 Bill. 0.1%
Average refund $2,792 $2,797 0.2%
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 83,995,000 86,228,000 2.7%
Amount $245.088 Bill. $254.944 Bill. 4.0%
Average refund $2,918 $2,957 1.3%

2014 Tax Season (2013 Tax Year) eFile Statistics

(Cumulative through Dec. 27, 2013, and Dec. 26, 2014)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2013 2014 % Change
Total Receipts 148,197,000 149,684,000 1.0%
Total Processed 147,910,000 149,510,000 1.1%
e-Filing Receipts:
Total 122,515,000 125,821,000 2.7%
Tax Professionals 77,268,000 77,875,000 0.8%
Self-prepared 45,247,000 47,946,000 6.0%
Total Refunds:
Number 109,563,000 109,499,000 -0.1%
Amount $301.836 Bill. $305.734 Bill. 1.3%
Average refund $2,755 $2,792 1.4%
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 83,836,000 83,995,000 0.2%
Amount $245.596 Bill. $245.088 Bill. -0.02%
Average refund $2,929 $2,918 -0.4%

2013 Tax Season (2012 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through Dec. 28, 2012, and Dec. 27, 2013)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2012 2013 % Change
Total Receipts 148,203,000 148,035,000 -0.1%
Total Processed 147,697,000 147,725,000 0.02%
e-Filing Receipts:
Total 119,560,000 122,515,000 2.5%
Tax Professionals 76,322,000 77,268,000 1.2%
Self-prepared 43,238,000 45,247,000 4.6%
Total Refunds:
Number 110,471,000 109,563,000 -0.8%
Amount $309.648 Bill. $301.863 Bill. -2.5%
Average refund $2,803 $2,755 -1.7%
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 82,809,000 83,814,000 1.2%
Amount $247.1269 Bill. $245.464 Bill. -0.7%
Average refund $2,984 $2,929 -1.9%

2012 Tax Season (2011 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through Dec. 30, 2011, and Dec. 03, 2012)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2011 2012 % Change
Total Receipts 145,320,000 148,390,000 +2.1%
Total Processed 145,062,000 147,891,000 +1.9%
e-Filing Receipts:
Total 112,203,000 119,589,000 +6.6%
Tax Professionals 72,403,000 76,019,000 5.0%
Self-prepared 33,998,000 38,272,000 +12.6%
Total Refunds:
Number 101,820,000 102,728,000 +0.9%
Amount $293.263 Bill. $288.151 Bill. -1.7%
Average refund $2,880 $2,805 -2.6%
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 72,056,000 76,276,000 +5.9%
Amount $226.061 Bill. $232.312 Bill. +2.8%
Average refund $3,137 $3,046 -2.9%
 

2011 Tax Season (2010 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through Jun. 06, 2010, and Jun. 03, 2011)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2010 2011 % Change
Total Receipts 132,050,000 133,808,000 +1.3%
Total Processed 129,054,000 132,530,000 +2.7%
e-Filing Receipts:
Total 94,604,000 106,233,000 +12.3%
Tax Professionals 60,607,000 67,962,000 +12.1%
Self-prepared 39,800,000 43,570,000 +9.4%
Total Refunds:
Number 109,330,000 110,471,000 +1.0%
Amount $318.529 Bill. $309.648 Bill. -2.8%
Average refund $2,913 $2,803 -3.8%
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 79,146,000 82,827,000 +4.7%
Amount $246.080 Bill. $247.209 Bill. +0.5%
Average refund $3,109 $2,985 -4.0%

2010 Tax Season (2009 Tax Year) e-File Statistics

(Cumulative through Nov. 06, 2009, and Nov. 05, 2010)

Individual Income Tax Returns 2009 2010 % Change
Total Receipts 143,529,000 141,536,000 -1.4%
Total Processed 143,079,000 141,536,000 -1.4%
e-Filing Receipts:
Total 95,478,000 98,740,000 3.4%
Tax Professionals 63,285,000 63,893,000 1.0%
Self-prepared 32,193,000 34,847,000 8.2%
Total Refunds:
Number 111,163,000 108,923,000 -2.0%
Amount $315.290 Bill. $326.125 Bill. 3.4%
Average refund $2,836 $2,994 5.6%
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 72,982,000 74,460,000 2.0%
Amount $220.250 Bill. $237.444 Bill. 7.8%
Average refund $3,018 $3,189 5.7%

Cut down on unclaimed checks and get a faster tax refund by using eFile and choosing direct deposit.

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