Wash. D.C. IR- 5/18/17
CERCA has made quite a differance to our efforts here at the IRS. One thing that has made this an enjoyable experince has been the support we receive from groups like CERCA, the Council fo Electronic Revenue Communications Enhancement. The IRS works with allkinds of organizations, but CERCA is one that is a true partner. I feel we’re comrades in arms, because we’re all in the business of trying to help people fulfill their tax obligations. The critical support CERCA provides is never more evident than during the filing season. And once agasin, this year’s filing season went very smoothly for taxpayers. In fact, this has been the smoothest filing season since I became Commissioner. As of May 5th, the IRS received nearly 139 million individual returns, on the way to a total of about 152 million by the October 16 tax extension deadline. We have issued over 101 million refunds for maore than $281 billion with the average refund totaling approximately $2,800.
THose numbers are probably no surprise to anyone in the room, but when I started as Commissioner I was amazed by the sheer volume of what the IRS deals with each year. I also have to admit that, before coming to the IRS, I took for granted that I would get my refund every year like clockwork after I filed my return. But after watching four filing seasons unfold, I can tell you I don’t take that process for granted anymore. So I want to thank CERCA and others in the tax community for all of your help supporting the implementation of the PATH Act requirments, as well as all the other work during this very smooth filing season.
This unique collaboration allowed us to put many new safeguards in place for the 2016 tax filing season that produced amazing results. We had fewer fraudulent returns entering our systems, fewer bad refunds going out the door, and fewer tax related identity theft victims. To that last point, let me share with you what I think is a stunning statistic; the number of people who reported to the IRS that they wer victims of identity theft declined from 698,700 in 2015 to 376,000 in 2016.