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New Poll by AT&T Finds That Americans Would Surrender Their Digital Music Players Before the Ability to File Taxes Online


E-File Enjoys Widespread Popularity on Eve of Turning 20; 82 Percent of E-Filers Will Never Or Seriously Doubt They Will Return to Paper Filing

San Antonio, Texas, March 21, 2006, Now hear this: A new survey by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) found that as e-file celebrates its 20th anniversary, it is so popular that even head-bopping, headphone-donning Americans of late would sacrifice their digital music players to protect their ability to file taxes online via a high speed Internet connection.

When asked which they would give up first, 68 percent of survey respondents said they would rather give up their digital music player before the ability to e-file over a high speed Internet connection (32 percent).

The poll also revealed that speed, convenience and readily available help emerged as key reasons why Americans are flocking to filing online. When asked to compare e-filing with filing a paper return, 82 percent of respondents said it was faster and 74 percent said it was easier. Overall, 58 percent of e-filers surveyed say that filing their income taxes is a “breeze.”

In addition, 68 percent said that accessing online help was a benefit of e-filing over paper filing. According to the IRS, its online information includes the latest tax law changes, the newest tax forms and the most accurate answers to frequently asked questions. In addition,, is one of the most frequently visited Web sites in the world. And, hosts online tools such as Free File, the free tax preparation software and e-filing program for computer users with incomes of $50,000 or less and “Where’s My Refund?” which lets taxpayers track their cash.

Show Me the Money

Another reason why Americans prefer using a high speed broadband connection to file returns? A quicker boost to the bank account, which is often linked with e-filing. According to the new survey from AT&T, 36 percent surveyed said that they like filing online because they need their refund as soon as possible or can’t stand waiting (28 percent). Additionally, 27 percent reported being busy and 9 percent said they procrastinate. According to the IRS, IRS e-file is fast, accurate and secure. Taxpayers get their refunds in two weeks or less.

Point of No Return

According to the IRS, last year, IRS e-file marked a milestone as more than half of the nation’s taxpayers—68.4 million people—filed their tax return electronically. The largest area of growth: self-prepared returns on home computers. Echoing this growth, the new survey also found that 82 percent of e-filers say they will never or seriously doubt that they will ever switch back to paper filing next year.

“As broadband options like AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet have become more readily accessible and affordable, many Americans have come to prefer filing taxes online to filing a paper return — so much so that they can’t imagine ever having to switch back,” said Kieran Nolan, vice president-consumer marketing, AT&T broadband. “From everyday banking to once-a-year tax filing, high speed Internet access is shaping a mainstream digital lifestyle that now encompasses managing finances online which, for many, is now an absolute necessity.”

Blast From the Past

When asked to compare paper filing to a list of outdated technologies, 26 percent drew a parallel to eight-track tapes, 21 percent said rotary phones, and 20 percent said VHS machines. Another 8 percent likened paper filing to 33 RPM record albums and 4 percent chose drive-in move theaters.

This survey was sponsored by AT&T to highlight how broadband Internet access has an impact on filing tax returns. The findings are based on a national online survey of 1,018 adults older than 18, conducted using Survey Sampling International’s SurveySpot nationwide Internet panel. The poll was conducted from Feb. 28 to March 5, 2006. The survey results have a margin of error, because of sampling of no more than plus or minus three percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

With 7 million AT&T Yahoo! High Speed DSL Internet lines in service, AT&T is the nation’s largest provider of DSL broadband Internet access services. AT&T also operates one of the nation’s largest Wi-Fi networks with connectivity available at more than 10,000 hot spots. Customers of AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet can subscribe to AT&T Wi-Fism services for as low as $1.99 a month. For more information, visit

About the New AT&T
AT&T Inc. is one of the world’s largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to business and as leading U.S. providers of high-speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the No. 1 U.S. wireless services provider with more than 54 million wireless customers. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and AT&T products and services is available at

AT&T Wi-Fism AT&T products and services are provided in specific geographic areas by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. AT&T Wi-Fism public wireless high-speed Internet access service is provided by AT&T Internet Services. Connections available at AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots and partnering locations. An 802.11 b/g enabled device is required for Wi-Fi access. Service not available in all areas. AT&T Internet Services reserves the right to suspend any connection. Offer and pricing subject to change without notice. Applicable taxes, assessments, roaming and other fees and charges are additional. AT&T Internet Services is not liable for any lack of security that may result from your use of the service on your device. Other restrictions apply.

High Speed: Requires registered AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet membership. Basic subscription is $1.99 monthly. Roaming locations not included, except participating McDonald’s® locations. Acceptance of AT&T Wi-Fi Terms and Conditions is required. If your High Speed Internet membership is cancelled, your AT&T WI-Fi subscription will also be cancelled. Charges will appear on the AT&T Internet Services portion of your telephone bill. Taxes, additional fees and surcharges extra.

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