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American Express offers online tax preparation

04 February 2004  |  495 views  |  0

American Express has expanded its range of interactive financial services by introducing American Express OnlineTax, a web-based alternative to "do it yourself" paper tax preparation.

American Express OnlineTax, accessible at americanexpress.com/taxes, is a quick, easy and accurate tool for individual taxpayers to prepare their taxes online. The program prompts users to answer a few simple questions, then automatically selects the correct state and federal tax forms. The tool performs all calculations, completing both state and federal tax returns. Users can try this service with no obligation and pay only if they print or process their return. American Express is offering this service at a special rate of $34.95 now through March 31, 2004. After March 31, American Express OnlineTax is available for $39.95.

In addition to the OnlineTax tool, the service includes a comprehensive Tax Center that contains a searchable tax reference library, a tax calendar, and the latest tax news and tools -- including worksheets, calculators, tables and forms. American Express OnlineTax imports W2 information from participating employers, and complies with the latest tax laws in order to minimize tax payments and maximize refunds. It also automatically checks for errors and omissions, helping users avoid costly penalties.

An optional electronic filing service submits completed returns directly to the IRS and state tax authorities at no additional charge, enabling users to get their refunds more quickly than if they filed a paper return.

This service requires no special software or downloads. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing users to log in and work at their own pace. Information is saved when a user logs out so the user can continue at a more convenient time. To insure privacy and security of information on the site, all accounts are password protected. Safety of the data is further insured through rigorous physical, electronic, and managerial security procedures. The internet-based systems are also protected behind firewalls, and Secured Sockets Layer (SSL) is used when transmitting information between the customer, the OnlineTax servers, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for electronic filing. SSL, a well-established Internet security standard, features web server authentication and data encryption.

American Express OnlineTax also offers the convenience of free e-mail based technical support, as well as the option to pay any taxes due with the American Express Card.

The service is also being offered through corporations and membership organizations, such as credit unions, as a benefit to their employees, members or customers.

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