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Performance Tracking  > 2016 Tax Websites  > Introduction

WebSitePulse 2016 Tax Performance and Uptime Report

Tax season is near and it will continue until April 15th,2016.

Tax e-filing has been gaining popularity in recent years as more taxpayers have figured it’s easier and faster than regular tax filing.

According to Hrblock.com, the benefits of e-filing are:

  • The IRS doesn't have to re-enter your information into its system. So, e-filing results in fewer data-entry errors.
  • You receive an acknowledgment that the IRS received your return. The IRS doesn’t send an acknowledgment when it receives paper returns.
  • You'll receive your refund faster if you e-file your return rather than mailing it.

With the growing popularity of tax e-filing, however, the cases of stolen personal data and refunds during tax season have grown in recent years too. Cyber criminals will be hunting down taxpayers‘ private data this year as well. That is why being extra alert when choosing a tax refund website is a must as cybercriminals come up with a variety of ways to trick you into filling out your personal details on a fraudulent website.

On another note, even if you are using a real tax refund website, and have taken all precautions to secure your personal information and avoid fraud, you may encounter the following problem: If the chosen website is not prepared to deal with heavy traffic load, it might slow down your process or it might freeze during a crucial stage of the e-filing. As a result, you may fail to submit your tax refund or you may lose all the information you have been filling out for hours.

Every year, we monitor popular tax refund websites during tax season to see whether they handle the heavy traffic load properly and then we report their performance and availability on a daily basis. This year, we have picked 12 websites to monitor and compare their performance.

The reports reflect not only the tax websites’ home pages performance, but any web transaction process as well. To be specific, measurements of e-transactions are made every 15 minutes, from 3 different monitoring locations in the U.S. Also, to ensure the accuracy of the monitoring recordings, we use false alarm prevention system and error verification controls. The tax-return websites response and uptime reports will be published after April 5th, 2016, where you can find information on uptime, performance and availability.