As of last week the IRS had processed more than 66 million individual tax returns and issued more than 59 million refunds totaling about $178 billion. Visits to IRS.gov are also up more than 9 percent compared to the same period last year.

Last year the IRS processed more than 230 million returns and collected about $2.3 trillion in revenue. Almost 70 percent of returns were processed online last year, and 119 million individuals received refunds, totaling a combined $358 billion, according to the agency.

The agency has reported few problems with processing returns and refunds, but this could be a difficult tax year for those who must repay the First Time Homebuyer Credit, a key tax incentive included in the massive economic stimulus program passed at the start of the Obama administration.

About 950,000 of the nearly 1.8 mllion who claimed the credit on 2009 tax returns will have to send the money back because in some cases they were eligible for two different credits. The government’s tax watchdog exposed the error last September.

Jodie Reynolds, an IRS spokeswoman said the agency is “working quickly to resolve this issue and update our systems within the next few weeks, which will allow us to process these impacted returns. The IRS regrets this delay for impacted taxpayers.”

Anyone who is claiming the tax credit on a home purchased in 2010 isn’t affected by the errors, Reynolds said.

The IRS is also touting its new “Where’s my Refund?” tool on its Web site that allows taxpayers to determine when they should be receiving money back from the government. One reader who contacted The Post last week however said the tool isn’t working: It had incorrectly told him a refund would arrive by March 1, but he’s yet to see any of the money.

Reynolds said she was unaware of widespread problems or inaccuracies with the refund tool.

Have you or anyone you know had issues with this year’s tax returns? If so, leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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