(ran HT, CI, PT editions)
As April 15 draws near, more people are surfing the Internet for answers to their most taxing questions.
H&R Block, the world's leading tax preparation firm, reported more than 1-million hits to its web site in January. That works out to about 30,000 requests for information a day. It also compares to a total of 700,000 hits in all of 1996.
"We want our web site to be fun and interactive as well as useful," said Fred Halfpap of H&R Block.
The site offers state and federal tax forms, advice and tips designed especially for seniors, single parents, students and other special categories of taxpayers.
In addition, the site includes a collection of odd tax tidbits such as "Did you know in 1702, Russia enacted a tax on men who wore beards?"
Best of all, you may be the winner of the site's "We'll Pay Your Taxes" game, where H&R Block will pay up to $20,000 of the winner's taxes.
The site is located at http://www.hrblock.com/tax/.