SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Individual income tax returns for Illinois may be submitted starting Feb. 12. The Illinois Department of Revenue announced that Feb. 12 is also the first day that the Internal Revenue service will begin accepting federal returns. Revenue Director David Harris encouraged taxpayers to file electronically. The number of electronic filers increased by nearly 3% last year. Of 6.4 million returns filed, 87% were filed online and 63% qualified for refunds. Harris encouraged filers to create a “MyTax Illinois” account, particularly because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. He said with an account, taxpayers may quickly respond to any filing inquiries and speed processing of refunds.