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Tax procrastination on the rise
Americans continue to postpone taxes despite ease of online filing according to a recent report.
April 15, 2005: 3:32 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - If you're reading this, you may be a tax-day procrastinator. If so, you're not alone. More and more Americans' tax filings are coming down to the wire.

According to comScore Networks, a market research company which tracks Internet surfing habits, the number of visitors to the Internal Revenue Service Web site, TurboTax.com, and HR Block.com swelled from the 2004 tax season, despite the convenience of these online tax services.

On April 13, two days before tax D-day, visitors to IRS.gov increased by 14 percent compared to 2004, from 1.05 million to 1.2 million. Procrastinators seeking assistance at TurboTax.com that same day surged 34 percent, increasing from 212,000 visitors in 2004 to 321,000 this year.

While comScore's figures for Thursday and tax day itself have not been released, 1.9 million procrastinators visited IRS.gov on April 15 2004.

Jim Larrison, the senior vice president of financial solutions for comScore, says from all the indications so far, he's confident that today's traffic will beat that mark and that the trend for procrastination will continue in the future.

"My expectation is that it is going to continue that route and that there will be a disproportionate number of people visiting later in the season," said Larrison, who has tracked tax filing figures since 2001.

Sites most popular with procrastinators are companies offering filing services such as HRBlock.com. According to comScore, the number of individuals visiting the accounting company's Web site in the last two days of tax season increased 8 percent from 2003 to 2004. While visits to IRS.gov have increased in recent years following their push to bring people online, Larrison attributes last minute traffic to the filing of tax extensions, or the coveted 4868.

Larrison, whose company has tracked individuals visiting tax sites as late as 11:59 p.m. on tax day, believed that the comfort of filing online has helped allay deadline fears, while the increase in broadband connections in American homes has expedited the process.

"There are people doing year over year so they become more comfortable with it that barrier is gone," said Larrison who feels that online filing can only become more popular in the years to come.

Still scrambling to put your W-2 or 1099 together? Click here for some last-minute tax tips.  Top of page

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