a hit with tax filers

IRS Web site

The traditional run to the local post office or library in search of tax forms is being replaced by an online search of the Internal Revenue Service's Web site.

Tax filers have flocked to the IRS' Web site this tax season, according to data from the IRS and Nielsen//NetRatings, which measures Internet use.

From Jan. 1 through April 8, the most recent numbers available, the IRS Web site tallied 1.3 billion hits, a 67 percent increase over the 791 million hits for the same period last year, an IRS spokeswoman said.

For the week ending April 8, the tax site recorded more than 1 million unique visitors, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, making it one of the fastest growing domains for that week. By comparison, the site attracted 681,000 visitors the previous week.

Visitors spent an average of 11 minutes on the site, with most going to the page for electronic tax filing, according to the Nielsen//NetRatings analysis.

Hit counts are an accurate measure of how much traffic a Web server is handling. Each hit, however, does not represent a unique visitor to the site.

" has become the go-to online resource for timely and useful tax information," said Sean Kaldor, vice president of e-commerce for NetRatings Inc. "It strays from the stereotype of a typical government Web site, reaching out to the average taxpayer with well-organized content, providing assistance and support, and helping decrease the tax season burden."

The IRS is looking to provide even more of its forms online for the 2002 tax filing season, IRS officials have said.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine,, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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