A majority of taxpayers are concerned about the security and privacy of their personal and financial information when filing their state and federal tax returns online, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1,006 U.S. adults, commissioned by tax software developer Taxsoftware.com and conducted by the research firm Ipsos, found that taxpayers were more concerned this year than last year about various methods of filing their taxes online. The survey revealed that 54% of the respondents said they were concerned this year about privacy and security when filing their taxes by smartphone, up from 43% last year. Meanwhile, 53% of the respondents said they were concerned about filing their taxes using a desktop computer, up from 49% in 2011.

In addition, 52% of the respondents said they were concerned about filing their taxes through a laptop computer, up from 44% last year. Taxsoftware.com also found that 41% of the respondents said they were concerned about using iPads to file their taxes, up from 31% last year. 
However, while concerns have gone up from 2011 to 2012, there has been an overall decrease in concern since 1997.

“When our survey was first conducted in 1997, a whopping 83% of Americans had worries about Internet-based tax filing,” said Taxsoftware.com spokesperson Mickey Macedo. “The lesson here is that, over time, tens of millions of people have grown comfortable filing their taxes online. Whether this year’s spike in concerns is a blip or a trend, only time will tell.”

–Michael Cohn writes for Accounting Today

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