Online Tax Paying Continues To Surge In Popularity

Online Tax Paying Continues To Surge In Popularity

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The days of going to a local tax preparer to have him or her submit your data to the state and federal governments aren’t over, but thanks to online tax preparation software, more and more taxpayers are preparing their own taxes and saving money. At least that is the findings of The Conference Board and TNS, a market research company.

taxesAccording to The Consumer Internet Barometer, about 40% of online households are planning to file their federal taxes online this year, up from less than 34% four years ago. The quarterly report surveys 10,000 households across the country and tracks who’s doing what on the Internet.

Very Convenient and a Time Saver

“Convenience and speed are the primary reasons behind online filing,” said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Concerns over security, once a major deterrent, have declined substantially. And, once consumers convert to online filing, they don’t go back. A once cumbersome, rather stressful process is becoming easier and faster, which could very likely make paper filing obsolete in the not so distant future.”

Nearly 60% say they’re filing online because it’s easier than filing by paper. Quicker refunds were also a major motivator, with 51% of consumers claiming that speed motivated them. Comfort with electronic filing came in at a distant third, with only 28% claiming this was a factor in their conversion. Other reasons include having access to “a secure/direct line to the IRS,” “not having to use a professional service” and “friends/family recommended it.”

Fraud Worries Aren’t What They Used To Be

The report also discovered that consumer worries about internet fraud has dropped over the years, which is contributing to greater online usage of popular online software programs such as TurboTax.  Basic versions of certain tax preparation programs are now avaiable for free with low cost upgrades for people who have small businesses or need access to advanced tools.

Finally, the survey revealed that more than 75% of online tax filers chose to receive their 2007 refund by direct deposit, with only one out of eight requesting a check. Clearly, the age of computer filing and automatic tax refund depositing is here, underscoring that tax preparation has changed dramatically over the past few years.

Adv. — Whether you’re preparing taxes yourself or using the services of a tax preparation professional, you may need to have a budget in place to make certain that all of your items are tracked and family living expenses accounted for.

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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".