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Late-Season TurboTax Surge Seen

3/04/2008 01:50:00 PM Eastern

New York — Intuit believes there could be a late tax-season run on its TurboTax line of software due to the Federal tax rebate that most Americans are set to receive later this year.

In order to receive this government check Americans have to file a federal income tax form, something which many people normally do because of their financial situation, a company spokeswoman said. Intuit is hoping many of these individuals opt for TurboTax because it easily handles simple returns and can be directly downloaded onto a home PC eliminating the need to go to a store.

Exactly how many additional sales this will mean is unknown, but Intuit believes there are millions of Americans who will find themselves filing this year.

Another reason retailers can look for a late March or early April sales boom is that the Federal government did not allows anyone to file their tax returns prior to Feb. 11. This was to allow some last-minute tax legislation to work its way through Congress.

As of Feb. 16, Intuit reported it had sold about 5 million retail boxes of TurboTax, a 1 percent increase, and 3.5 million online units, up 35 percent. The company said at this point in the tax season about three-quarters of all the retail boxes that will sell have done so, but it believes the majority of online sales are still to come.

In most years, sales spike in early February, when most W-2 forms are received, and then in April, when those who enjoy waiting until the last minute decide to file.

Last year 20 percent of sales took place after April. For tax year 2006 the company sold 14.4 million units overall.