Tax Returns Continue Shift Online

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Taxpayers continue to migrate online in droves to pay their taxes.


A new survey by online behavioral marketing firm Claria Corp.'s Feedback Research division claims an estimated 68 percent of people planned or paid their taxes online. The survey was conducted between Feb. 1 and April 8.


The Internal Revenue Service site at www.irs.gov was the most popular destination for taxpayers. Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents indicated they would view or viewed the IRS site. That site captured 51.7 percent of the total traffic to the taxes category during the survey period.


TurboTax owner Intuit's site at www.intuit.com was next with 18 percent, and its sibling site at www.turbotax.com had 15 percent of the traffic.


Feedback Research found that more people prepared taxes on their own. Sixty-one percent of respondents who did not use an outside tax preparation service or accountant planned on using, or have used, a tax preparation Web site. This was up 10 percent from last year.


Reflective of this trend was the surge in traffic in the week leading up to the tax-filing deadline of April 15.


The site at www.taxcut.com and TurboTax.com each registered an 84 percent increase in traffic. The site at www.hrblock.com saw a 74 percent jump in traffic, and IRS.gov was up 66 percent.


In another finding, 31 percent of taxpayers used tax preparation software for the first time this year, a 3 percent increase from last year. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said they previously used tax software. Of that, half have used tax software for three years or more.


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