SaveWealth Completes Tax Season, Notes Changes in the Way Americans File Taxes

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Americans' tax filing behaviors changed this year, as noted by SaveWealth.com, the most popular commercial resource for tax forms and tips. Delayed 1099 forms, usually mailed in January, forced many early birds to file later. General economic concerns and confusion over 2003 tax law changes also caused millions to procrastinate later than usual, creating a mad rush to the April 15 tax filing deadline.

SaveWealth.com has completed another tax season, retaining its ranking as the most popular commercial website for federal and state tax forms.

Based on responses from taxpayers and statistical observations, SaveWealth noted several significant changes in the way taxpayers were filing this year. In past years, the privately-held company had noted that the most popular periods for taxpayers to download tax forms were: 1.) during the last two weeks of January, when most W-2s and 1099s were mailed, and 2.) during the final 4 weeks leading up to the April 15th deadline.

During this filing season, the financial services company noted several important trends:

1. Large increases in the number of forms downloaded in the final week of January and first week of February, as early bird filers delayed downloading and filing taxes.

2. A shorter “procrastination period,” with late filers, who typically visit the site between March 15 and April 15, waiting even longer to download the necessary tax forms.

3. An average 200% increase in typical web traffic from April 11-April 15, 2004.

These changes represented dramatic shifts in filing patterns, and can be traced back to last year’s complex tax law changes, which forced many companies to delay sending 1099 forms. A large number of firms, especially financial services companies, also had to send amended 1099 forms due to re-interpretations of how dividends were treated in 2003.

Many taxpayers also expressed confusion over the child tax credit. The IRS had mailed checks last summer to individuals that qualified for the child tax credit; however, many taxpayers were unsure as to how the tax credit should be reflected on their 1040 forms.

An estimated 30 million taxpayers this year waited until the last few days to file their taxes. Other factors, including the lack of new job growth, conflict in the Middle East, and economic concerns may have also played a role in people waiting to file taxes until the very last moment.

While final numbers have not been calculated, SaveWealth reports e-filing also was on the increase. For Tax Year 2003, taxpayers were once again were able to prepare and file their taxes online through the Tax Center’s FileOnline service. The IRS’ strong marketing push seems to have worked. Many e-filers took advantage of the service’s built-in calculators, as well as the faster refunds. SaveWealth expects this trend to continue next year, as more taxpayers become comfortable with the security and ease-of-use offered by electronic filing.

SaveWealth retained its title as the most popular commercial resource for tax forms, offering forms, filing tips, and tax resources. The website shattered previous traffic records, estimating an increase of over 30% in year-over-year web traffic during the January 1-April 15 period. “We’re pleased that more Americans than ever turned to SaveWealth.com for help this tax season,” noted Scott Carr, CEO and Founder of SaveWealth.com. “For Tax Year 2003, we were the #1 independent provider of tax forms. And we intend to unveil more useful tax tools in 2004 in anticipation of next year's tax season.”

The SaveWealth™ Tax Center for 2004 at http://www.savewealth.com/taxforms will remain open all year long, able to help individuals who files for automatic extensions using Form 4868. Taxpayers that have to amend their tax returns, based on incorrect 1099 forms, can now download a free Form 1040X to file an amended return. In addition, taxpayers needing previous year’s tax forms can search the federal tax form archive back to 1996 forms.

About SaveWealth

SaveWealth (http://www.savewealth.com) is dedicated to serving its visitors in the areas of taxes, retirement, and estate planning. Through its partnerships and online education, SaveWealth.com has helped families across the nation save wealth and time through the use of advanced financial strategies. The site hosts thousands of web visitors daily, with timely news, tax tips, free special reports, and useful money and lifestyle information.

SaveWealth is a trademark of SaveWealth, LLC.

NOTE TO EDITORS: For further press information, please visit the SaveWealth Media Center at http://www.savewealth.com/pr.

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