Last Minute Tax Rush Online

April 14, 1998

Dulles, VA (April 14) -- One out of every four Americans waits until the last minute to file their tax returns, according to the IRS. This year they're logging on to AOL's Tax Planning Forum (KEYWORD: Tax) in record numbers for help in the homestretch. Here's a closer look at the cyber crunch on AOL. This past weekend (April 11 and 12), usage in AOL's Tax Planning Forum spiked 96% over the previous weekend with around 400 federal, state and extension tax forms downloaded every hour totaling 155,000 tax forms downloaded from AOL so far. AOL also reports that 75% more individual AOL members are using the Tax Planning Forum this April over last, for a 85% increase in overall use of the area this year. Our online CPA's report that AOL members have submitted and received answers to twice as many questions this year making it easy and convenient for AOL members to find answers to their tax questions. "Traffic is off-the-charts with people downloading forms, asking last-minute questions and seeking advice, and filing online," said director of programming for AOL's Personal Finance Channel, Rob Shenk. "At this point, the name of the game is meeting the deadline. People want the information they need quickly and easily -- whether it's an answer to a question or a copy of a tax form. AOL makes it faster and easier to finish your taxes and with [25 million people] yet to file and the deadline fast approaching -- it's no wonder Americans are logging on round-the-clock in record numbers." AOL's Tax Planning Forum provides 24-hours-a-day assistance from tax experts working round the clock, the latest tax laws, news forms and tax preparation and filing tools. "We're finding that the ease of preparing and filing taxes electronically is fundamentally changing the way people handle their taxes, much like ATM's changed the way people bank," added Shenk. About AOL's Personal Finance Channel AOL's Personal Finance Channel, where the Tax Planning Forum resides, is one of the most popular and rapidly growing areas on the online service, and is the leading financial destination in cyberspace. It provides 70 million stock quotes per day, maintains over six million active investment portfolios, generates over 13 million financial graphs per month for AOL users. An average of 630,000 users access the Quotes & Portfolios area each trading day - with that number growing by an average of 10,000 new users of the area each day. The Channel also offers access to financial information from popular sources such as Business Week, Intuit, Bloomberg, Standard & Poors, Hoovers, Disclosure, Morningstar, Reuters, Investors Business Daily, The Motley Fool and Sage. The Personal Finance Channel enables members to do their taxes, research and trade stocks and mutual funds, conduct their online banking, get the most up-to-date business and market news, access detailed financial data, and chat with other members about market trends and financial information.

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