Americans Plan to Save and Pay Bills, According to Compete 2011 Tax Survey


Earlier this week, I received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service marked “official business.” I must admit I shook a little with apprehension. In turn, however, I was delighted to learn that I would be getting an unexpected, additional refund. (My delight was heightened by the relief I felt knowing I wasn’t going to be the subject of an audit.)

Unexpected refund! To save or spend, that is the question.

With all that is weighing down the economic outlook – the slow uptick in the jobs report, a still-weak housing market, and the rising price of oil and Middle East unrest – Americans report they are more likely to save money this year than spend when they have a choice.

According to a recent Compete study, 68.4% of Americans who will file 2010 tax returns expect to receive a refund. The largest share of these Americans plan to pay bills (27.5%). However, when choosing between general savings (20.9%) and retirement savings (2.9%) or vacation (7.6%) and buying something special (7.9%), Americans say they are saving more and spending less of their discretionary funds.

More Americans Are Filing Taxes Online

Additionally, the majority of respondents (48.4%) reported they will or have filed their taxes online, up 3.2% since 2009. Turbo Tax is the most popular online option with 23.2% of respondents using it, followed by TaxACT (8.4%) and H & R Block (6.8%).

TaxACT, although generating the fewest unique visitors to their site, outpaces H & R Block in terms of completed or filed taxes. This brings up a few interesting questions. How is TaxACT moving its visitors through the filing funnel? And, how can online tax providers improve their conversion rates?

uvs taxes

We’ll answer these questions in our next blog post when we take a closer look at conversion data and how these companies are moving visitors through their online submission process. Stay tuned!

About Jennifer Canfield:
Jennifer Johnston Canfield is a Senior Associate in Financial Services at Compete. Jennifer is responsible for providing competitive analysis to financial services clients. Before Jennifer joined the Compete team she was a social media marketing consultant. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter (@jbjcanfield) or LinkedIn (