Taxing Definitions

Definitions — Status check

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What’s the status of the IRS? It’s not that complicated.

According to a status report on the 2017 tax filing season provided by the Deputy Inspector General for Audit, during calendar year 2017 the IRS began accepting and processing individual tax returns on January 23, 2017, as scheduled.

Here are some of the statistics provided in the report.


As of April 7, 2017, the IRS received approximately 103.6 million tax returns.


The IRS expects to receive approximately 152 million individual income tax returns during 2017.


So far in 2017, the IRS has issued 80.3 million refunds.


As of March 25, 2017, the IRS identified and confirmed 38,728 fraudulent tax returns and prevented the issuance of $316.1 million in fraudulent tax refunds as a result of identity-theft filters.


In fiscal year 2016, the IRS collected more than $3.3 trillion in tax revenue, processed more than 244 million tax returns, and issued more than $400 billion in tax refunds.



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95.5 million (92.1%) were electronically filed (e-filed) and 8.2 million (7.9%) were filed on paper.

Approximately 17 million paper-filed and 134.3 million electronically filed (e-filed).

More than $228.9 billion.

For the 2017 filing season, the IRS is using 197 identity-theft filters to identify potentially fraudulent individual tax returns and prevent the issuance of fraudulent tax refunds. These filters incorporate criteria based on characteristics of confirmed identity-theft tax returns, including characteristics such as amounts claimed for income and withholding, filing requirements, prisoner status, taxpayer age, and filing history.

Total IRS staffing as of January 7, 2017 was approximately 83,000. Included in the total are approximately 16,200 seasonal and part-time employees.