07/02/2013 01:06 EDT | Updated 09/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Three out of four Canadians filed tax returns online, says Canada Revenue Agency

OTTAWA - The taxman says three out of every four Canadian taxpayers filed their income tax returns electronically this year.

The Canada Revenue Agency says more than 76 per cent of the returns that have arrived so far came in electronically, up 17 per cent from last year.

As of June 20, the agency had received 20 million online returns, compared with 17 million by the same time last year.

The agency says the numbers suggest taxpayers are finding that electronic filing is convenient and secure.

At the same time, paper filing is off sharply.

By mid-June, the agency had received 6.2 million paper returns, down 29.5 per cent from the 8.8 million sent in by the same time in 2012.

The average Canadian received a refund of $1,641 during the 2012 tax-filing season, up $22 from the previous filing season.

The agency says taxpayers this year have a number of new credits available, including a caregiver benefit for those caring for a dependent with a physical or mental impairment.