[IMGCAP(1)]Most tax preparers have heard by now of Skype or one of the similar video-conferencing services -- and some have tried such services, and report success when connecting with long-distance clients --some of whom the preparers have never even met.

As is typical of such services, Skype is computer-based and allows users to place voice calls through an Internet connection. Many of these services can also be used for chat, computer-to-computer and computer-to-phone calls and video conferences. Users typically pay a monthly fee, though several services offer free calls to members in the same provider’s network.

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