Online tax sites survive 11th hour deluge well

Online tax sites performed well in the face of a flood of users during the final four days before the April 15 tax-filing deadline, a study released today showed.

Beginning on April 12, Keynote Systems Inc. of San Mateo, Calif., measured the speed and reliability for accessing the IRS' home page and those of the leading tax information and preparation Web sites.

Even with the IRS tracking a 12 percent leap in tax returns filed electronically compared to last year, the tax sites that Keynote measured performed admirably, the company said.

The sites generally delivered consistently high levels of performance for home page downloads as well as successful use rates. The average success rate was 97 percent or higher. And most sites served up their home pages in five seconds or less.

Keynote, which measures response times and service speeds for many sites, noted however that the tax sites typically were slower than the busiest Web sites, which generally serve up home pages in under two seconds.

'It appears that even though more people than ever are filing their taxes online, the leading tax preparation Web sites have done a very good job preparing themselves for many more visitors than years past,' said Roopak Patel, senior Internet analyst for Keynote's public services division.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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