The IRS has long had a goal of increasing the number of people who file their tax returns electronically. The agency promises faster refunds for people who file electronically and have their refunds deposited directly into bank accounts. Most taxpayers who file this way can get refunds within 21 days, the agency says.
In 2012, nearly 120 million taxpayers electronically filed their federal tax returns with the IRS. That's about 81 percent of all individual returns.
Taxpayers can check the status of their refund on the agency's "Where's my refund?" website. The IRS says the status of a refund is only updated once a day, usually at night. Last month, the agency asked taxpayers not to check the website more than once a day because it was being overwhelmed by eager taxpayers.