The Louisiana Department of Revenue has received more than 1 million state individual income tax returns filed electronically, the earliest date during any filing season the department has recorded this benchmark.

As of Thursday, taxpayers had filed 1,006,770 returns via electronic methods, including the state’s free web-based tax filing application and commercially available tax preparation software. The results come more than a week earlier than the agency reached the milestone in 2011, according to a department news release.

“This suggests growing enthusiasm for electronic filing, which is good news for taxpayers and for the State of Louisiana,” Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges said in the release. “Electronic filing saves time and money for Louisiana taxpayers and for state government.”

Taxpayers who file electronically receive their refunds in an average of 10 business days. For paper returns, the processing time is 12 to 16 weeks.

Also, electronic filing saves state government millions of dollars per year, as the cost of processing paper returns is $1.50 per transaction.