Are You a High-Tech Tax Filer?
RetailMeNot survey finds nearly 1 in 3 consumers plan to file tax returns using online services this year
- Over 3 in 5 (62%) people expect to get a refund when they file
- Fifteen percent of people wait until April 1 or later to file their taxes
- Use of in-person national tax preparation companies has dropped by nearly half compared to last year
Mar 24, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas, March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- RetailMeNot (www.retailmenot.com), the largest digital coupon destination in the United States, today released data from a survey conducted with The Omnibus Company (www.omnibus.com) that found nearly a third of consumers (31%) put their trust in tech this year by filing tax returns using online services.
"Our survey found that a majority of people—63 percent—will utilize some form of professional services when preparing their returns this year," says Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot. "In particular, online tax preparation services such as TurboTax and H&R Block are growing year over year in popularity."
According to the survey, the top resources consumers utilize to file their taxes are online services (31%) and independent accountants (19%). Use of in-person national tax preparation companies has dropped by nearly half compared to last year (13% this year vs. 22% last year).*
Popular Filing Methods
Nearly 1 in 3 consumers surveyed (31%) file their returns using an online service. Who's most likely to fall into this category?
- Married individuals are more likely than singles to turn to the Web (37% versus 25%).
- Individuals who make $50K or more (35% versus the 27% who make less than $50K).
Nearly 1 in 5 consumers surveyed (19%) file their returns using an independent accountant.
- Consumers age 60 or older are more likely to use an independent accountant than 18- to 59-year-olds (27% versus 17%).
- Conservatives (26%) are more likely than liberals (16%) and moderates (17%) to use this method.
The next most popular method involves no professional services: 18% of people surveyed prefer to prepare their taxes themselves.
Race to the Refund
While a majority of filers surveyed complete their returns by the end of March, 15% of people wait until April 1 or later to file their taxes.
It's no surprise that many people filed early this year since over 3 in 5 (62%) consumers surveyed expect to get a refund.
- More 18- to 34-year-olds than those ages 35+ (74% vs. 55%) expect to get a tax refund this year.
- Married individuals are more likely than singles to expect a refund (66% versus 57%).
- More parents than people without children expect a refund (72% versus 57%).
Less than 1 in 5 consumers surveyed expect to either owe money (14%) or come out even (15%).
- People age 50 and older are more likely to expect to come out even than 18- to 49-year-olds (22% versus 10%).
To Have or to Hold?
This year, many consumers plan to save their tax refund dollars. Nearly half of consumers surveyed (42%) indicated they would put money from a tax refund into savings or investments.
On the flip side, not everyone is looking to hold onto their refunds. In fact, 1 in 5 respondents indicated they would spend their refund on food (21%) or luxuries like travel (19%). Others indicated they would spend refunds on retail purchases such as clothing, shoes or accessories (18%), electronics (15%) and home furnishings (11%).
Consumers surveyed indicated that they are much less likely to plan to spend their tax-refund dollars on a major purchase, such as a down payment on a home (9%).
Last-minute filers can visit www.retailmenot.com/coupons/tax to save on tax-preparation software and services.
The RetailMeNot Survey was conducted between February 14 and 21, 2014, among 1,023 U.S. residents ages 18 and over, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.
*Last year's data comes from a survey conducted between January 24 and January 30, 2013, among 1,000 U.S residents ages 18 and over.
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About RetailMeNot, Inc.
RetailMeNot, Inc. (www.retailmenot.com/corp/) operates the world's largest digital coupon marketplace. The company enables deal-seeking consumers across the globe to find hundreds of thousands of digital coupons from retailers and brands. RetailMeNot, Inc. experienced more than 500 million visits to its websites in the last 12 months. The RetailMeNot, Inc. portfolio includes www.RetailMeNot.com, the largest digital coupon marketplace in the United States; www.RetailMeNot.ca in Canada; www.VoucherCodes.co.uk, the largest digital coupon marketplace in the United Kingdom; www.Deals.com in Germany; www.Actiepagina.nl, a leading digital coupon site in the Netherlands; Bons-de-Reduction.com and www.Ma-Reduc.com, leading digital coupon sites in France; www.Poulpeo.com, a leading digital coupon site with cash back in France; and www.Deals2Buy.com, a leading discount offer site in North America. RetailMeNot, Inc. went public in July 2013 and is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "SALE." Investors interested in learning more about the company can visit: http://investor.retailmenot.com/.
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