San Antonio (March 31, 2004) -- Young professionals with broadband Internet service appear to be helping to fuel the increase in e-filing, according to a survey conducted for SBC Communications Inc.

The survey of 300 broadband Internet users ages 18 to 30 showed that most prefer to file their tax returns electronically. Among those respondents who file their own taxes, 73 percent do so electronically -- outnumbering paper filers more than three to one. Among those who have someone else file their taxes, almost half (45 percent) say it's important for their tax returns to be filed electronically, SBC said.

More than half of survey respondents (52 percent) say the thought of filing taxes using traditional paper forms is as painful as losing e-mail, Internet access or their cell phones for a week. Eighteen percent compare the pain of paper filing to listening to their parents' music for a weekend, and 13 percent say it would be as bad as getting fired or dumped on reality television.

More than half of e-filers surveyed (57 percent) do so as soon as they can, compared to 6 percent who wait until the last minute to file. Early filers are far more likely to e-file than last-minute filers. Fifty-two percent say a fast refund is the main reason they file quickly, while another 41 percent say they file early simply to get the process over with.

Seventy percent of survey participants who e-file manage their bank account online, while 65 percent pay bills online and 60 percent access billing statements online. Slightly fewer (57 percent) manage a credit card account online, while a third manage an investment account online.

-- WebCPA staff'

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