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FEATURE/ New Survey Reveals Biggest Taxpayer Pet Peeves; Staples Online Tax Center Simplifies Tax Season

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE FEATURES)--Feb. 20, 2002--Whether you use an accountant or file your own taxes, a new survey revealed that taxpayers' biggest pet peeve during the tax season is compiling and organizing voluminous tax records. The study, sponsored by Staples Online Tax Center, was conducted by International Communications Research.

Taxpayers nationwide were interviewed to determine how they prepare their taxes, as well as what their biggest pet peeve is during tax time. One half of the survey respondents use an accountant or other individual to prepare their taxes, while the remaining half prepare their own taxes manually, online or with the use of tax software. Respondents also revealed that compiling and organizing tax records topped the list of biggest tax season pet peeves (30%), followed by writing the check (10%), finding the correct filing forms (9%) and panicking about the April 15 deadline (8%).

With more than 128 million individual returns filed in 2001, tax season is a busy time filled with questions, paperwork and the stress of preparation. Staples Online Tax Center (http://www.staples.com/TaxCenter) provides a full range of solutions for individuals, small businesses and CPA's seeking helpful hints and special savings on tax time essentials.

Staples Online Tax Center comes to the rescue of individuals and businesses hoping to get organized and avoid typical tax preparation pitfalls. To help answer the tough questions that arise during tax preparation and to offer tips on how to better organize tax records, Staples has teamed up with expert tax consultant, Barbara Weltman, President of BWideas.com, Inc. and author of several books including J.K. Lasser's New Rules for Small Business Taxes. Visitors to the site can submit their tax-specific questions to Weltman via email and receive guidance from the tax guru.

"With 441 new tax laws to comply with, compiling and organizing tax records has never been more important. I have teamed up with Staples OnLine Tax Center to provide individuals, small businesses and CPAs with the answers and solutions needed to survive this complicated tax season," said Weltman.

Weltman's one-on-one tax counseling, paired with the many other resources and savings available at Staples Online Tax Center, will help slash the hassles and costs associated with tax preparation.

In addition to offering weekly specials on tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and TaxCut, Staples Online Tax Center features successful starters for tax filers of every ilk, including a checklist for common tax preparation errors, recording-keeping tips from the IRS and articles such as "12 Keys to Success for Business Tax Preparation."

Staples Inc. is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture, and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over 50,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,300 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com.

CONTACT:
Staples, Inc.
Deborah Hohler
508/253-8509
deborah.hohler@staples.com
or
MS&L Boston
Meara Murphy
617-437-7722. ext. 2574
meara.murphy@mslpr.com