In January 2013, visitation to online tax services dropped for the whole industry relative to the same time period in 2012. This trend is observed both for the top online do-it-yourself (DIY) tax preparation providers (TurboTax, H & R Block, and TaxAct) as well as the website IRS.gov. The top three DIY sites combined have seen 16 percent fewer visitors while IRS.gov has seen a 21 percent decrease in visitors compared to the same time period in 2012.
The 2013 tax filing season seems to be gearing up later than it did relative to the 2012 season. This may be due to late tax legislation and turmoil around the fiscal cliff in early 2013. This year the IRS did not start accepting e-file tax units until almost two weeks later than it did in 2012 (Jan. 30, 2013 vs. Jan. 17, 2012). The 2013 season, however, has shown a similar pattern of growth to the 2012 season, simply with a later start.
People over the age of 55 and those with household incomes of over $75,000 per year comprised a higher percentage composition of visitors to the Online Taxes category in January 2013 compared to January 2012. The increased visitation from these demographics could be a result of those tax filers being less affected by the delays in early 2013 or an indication of growth of interest in online tax services among people over 55 years of age or in homes making more than $75,000 per year.