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The Internal Revenue Service began offering e-filing in 1986, and by last year more than half of returns were filed electronically. More than two-thirds of early returns were e-filed this year, ahead of last year's pace. The rise in e-filing tracks with decreasing consumer worries about online security. All of this is good news for Intuit, marketer of top-seller TurboTax. PC software makes up 63% of TurboTax unit sales; TurboTax Online, a Web-based service in which consumers enter data on Intuit servers, is generating 37% of sales (vs. 28% last year). Those consumers are putting their trust online.

68% Individual returns sent by e-file, year to date1

66% Individual returns sent by e-file, same period last year1

51% Final % of individual federal returns sent by e-file in 2005

37% Taxpayers who will use do-it-yourself tax software this year2

16% Growth this year in TurboTax unit sales3

43% Web surfers "extremely concerned" about security issues in federal e-filing - 2006

52% Web surfers "extremely concerned" about security issues in federal e-filing - 2004

Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Carolina: States with highest % of e-filers4

New York, Hawaii, Maine, Vermont, New Jersey: States with lowest % of e-filers

1. IRS data as of March 24. Includes e-filing by do-it-yourselfers and professional tax preparers. 2. 38% of male filers; 37% of female filers. 3. Tax season through March 18. 4. Federal returns filed in 2005. Source: Ad Age analysis of data from Internal Revenue Service; Conference Board; Intuit


Focus on: YAHOO (YHOO)

Yahoo went public 10 years ago this week only a year after its incorporation and just months after it began selling ads. The stock (adjusted for splits) rocketed from 54› to a peak of $125 before the bubble burst in 2000. After plunging to $4 post-9/11, it approached $44 last January before dropping back. While the stock is down 74% from its '00 peak, sales and profits have soared. Net income last year ($1.9 B) far exceeded revenue of 2000 ($1.1 B).

1. Share prices adjusted for splits. IPO price not adjusted for splits was $13. 2. Price/earnings ratio for trailing 12-month profits. Source: Bloomberg, company reports, Ad Age analysis

Last week's score

The Wilshire 5000 April 5 hit its highest level since Nov. '00, but the AdMarket last week had just 16 gainers. IPG April 7 hit an '06 low ($9.37).
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