Forty percent of taxpayers plan to file their taxes online this season, up from 34 percent three years ago, according to a new survey.

The Conference Board commissioned research firm TNS to survey 10,000 households across the U.S. and found that more than two-thirds of consumers reported they have filed online for three years or more, up from 55 percent in 2005.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Internet users filing their federal taxes offline has steadily decreased. The survey found that more consumers are comfortable filing their taxes online than performing other types of financial transactions. Half said they were extremely concerned about paying bills or banking online, but only 44 percent were concerned about filing their taxes online.

Among consumers who plan to file their federal taxes online, over 40 percent intend to use a professional service. Women are more likely than men to seek professional assistance. The second most popular method, preferred by one-third of online filers, is do-it-yourself tax prep software. Male filers are more likely than female filers to use tax software.

Only about one-fifth of online filers intend to use the IRS's E-file service. About 72 percent of online federal tax filers chose to receive their 2006 tax refund last year by direct deposit, while less than 15 percent requested a check.

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