While tax season started late (this year’s season was pushed back from the 21st of January to the 31st), the online tax world became January 2014′s top fast-mover. See why below!
The category overall (Accountancy and Tax Services) saw an impressive 187% month-over-month growth in unique visitors (UVs). That in itself is remarkable, but when you look at the numbers themselves (43,304,360 UVs), it just gets better.
The top five sites went to filing programs like H&R Block, TaxACT, and TurboTax (TurboTax is owned by first-place-ranking Intuit, while taxactonline.com redirects to the main TaxACT page). Equifax (talx.com), which provides tax solutions to businesses, took sixth. Seventh went to the US government’s own filing and payment program, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System; eighth went to another tax filing system, and ninth is a W2-specific filing manager also run by Equifax.
Tenth, though, is quite different from the rest. Robert Half, a staffing agency, helps businesses and individuals find the accountants and financial gurus they need to get through April 15. Instead of using services from the top 9 sites, it seems that you can also enlist help from Robert Half to get it done for you!
The monthly change rates are particularly intriguing seeing as TaxACT’s sites had the highest growth rates, both nearing 1000% increase. TurboTax saw similar rates as well. H&R Block, in comparison, didn’t have such dramatic increases.
That could be due to H&R Block’s long-standing reputation and brand – it’s been around since the 1950s and is also an in-office, year-round financial service. Intuit’s TurboTax is from the 80s, while TaxACT is from the 90s. As these two sites are heavily software-based, their UV count for non-tax-season months is considerably lower than their tax-season months while H&R Block enjoys more consistent numbers yearlong.
Another interesting note is the UV count — Intuit leads the tax pack at more than twice the number of UVs as second-place H&R Block. However, Intuit also houses other popular financial management tools, like Quicken, QuickBooks, and Mint (which I use!). This explains why their MoM change isn’t as radical as the tax programs’ sites, and also why they lead with sheer UV numbers.
Not sure which program to use/which site to visit this tax season? Check out this list of tips in choosing the right one for you.
A Political Science/International Affairs sophomore at Northeastern University, Johanna joins Compete as the spring '14 Digital Marketing Co-op. Apart from her interest in digital infrastructure and her majors; Johanna enjoys ridiculous amounts of coffee, haggling for cheap flights, and constantly editing her website. Find her on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.