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Millions of Californians Have Filed Taxes, Electronically

Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

About two weeks before the deadline, the number of early filers and the number of refunds is just barely higher than at this time last year. The average refund amount is slightly higher, too.

Dan Tahara, spokesperson at the California Franchise Tax Board, says the people who have filed early probably have more simple returns or are expecting to get a refund.

"It's still on par with what we see with about two out of every three persons getting a
refund," says Tahara.

"As the final returns come in on [April] 15th, and people file on extension, the average may come back closer to what we've seen in year's past," he says, adding that there's not much deviation year-to-year in the number of refunds.

At the California Franchise Tax Board in Sacramento, giant bins of tax paperwork and are being processed.  Tax board staff makes digital copies of all the tax returns that are mailed in.  

But Tahara says 92 percent of returns are filed electronically. He says e-filing saves a step, and frees up space.  

"It's pretty cool to see how quickly we can reduce all the paper and all of the storage area that we used top have for paper. Now it's all empty. So it's really helped us to be more efficient."

If you use the Board's website, e-filing is free.

The state is expecting 7 million more returns to be filed this year.

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