MINEOLA, N.Y., Feb. 7, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Not all online tax filing services are created equal, advises leading tax filing provider ExpressTaxRefund.com (http://www.expresstaxrefund.com/news). To help consumers make informed decisions about where to file their taxes, the company today issued general guidelines to follow when evaluating Internet-based tax service providers.
First and foremost, said ExpressTaxRefund.com spokesperson Michele Tyson: Check with the IRS. Not every online tax preparer is an IRS-authorized e-file provider – and if a company isn’t on the list, said Tyson, chances are the consumer will have to find another way to e-file after the tax returns are prepared, which could be more costly than choosing an authorized e-file provider to begin with.
Next, said Tyson, make sure the tax provider’s site is completely secure. No one wants their tax data lost or, worse, vulnerable to hackers. Responsible online tax preparers will display an updated Thawte digital certificate, signifying their identity has been verified and that secure socket layers (SSL) are in place to protect their site’s customers.
Customer support is another big piece of the online tax
filing puzzle. Because questions frequently come up during
the tax filing process, it is essential that consumers
choose a site offering free, live customer support, said
Tyson. ExpressTaxRefund.com, for instance, provides a
toll-free customer support line seven days a week.
Finally, said Tyson, choose a company whose services are
tried and true. Early last week, online competitive intelligence service Hitwise released a list of the top ten most popular online tax sites for the last week of January; ExpressTaxRefund.com was number seven.
“When it comes to filing taxes online, it’s best to do a
little comparison shopping,” Tyson stated. “Taxes are one
area where people just can’t afford to make mistakes. Some
time invested up front in checking out a site – its status
with the IRS, its security precautions, its customer support and its history of providing online filing services – can really pay off in peace of mind and the most accurate tax returns possible.”