IRS has already received 55 million tax returns ahead of April 15 deadline, a huge increase on last year — here’s why

People are filing their taxes at a blistering pace so far this year, underscoring how serious Americans are on getting any tax refund due or any stimulus check money they missed last year.

The IRS began accepting and processing 2020 tax returns slightly later than usual because its systems needed a breather after distributing a second round of stimulus checks in late December.

After the Internal Revenue Service started accepting tax returns on Friday, Feb. 12, the agency took in 55 million returns in the first weekend alone, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig told federal lawmakers on Tuesday.

“At the peak, we were receiving 335 submissions per second,” he told members of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee inside the House of Representative’s Appropriations Committee.

To be clear, these are 55 million tax returns of some sort of variety. It’s not immediately clear how many of those 55 million returns are individual income tax returns versus other types of tax returns, like those for a business for example.

That blows past the start date numbers from last year. The IRS received 15.7 million individual tax returns by Jan. 31, 2020, the end of the first full week accepting returns last year.

By the week ending on Feb. 14 last year, the IRS received 39.6 million individual tax returns. It took two more weeks, on the week ending Feb. 28, 2020, for individual tax returns to reach a cumulative 59.3 million.

Right now, Americans are facing an April 15 deadline to file and pay their taxes, unless they get an extension to Oct. 15, which gives them more time to file their return, but not to pay.

Texans, however, now have a June 15 deadline in the wake of the winter storm.


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