ADI: The Struggle of Tax Prep

Today Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) unveiled a new analysis for tax season, investigating online financial and tax planning activities and perspectives among U.S. consumers. The report is based on aggregated and anonymized consumer data compiled by Adobe Experience Cloud from 11.5 billion tax preparation website visits between January 2014 and February 2017, as well as product data from Adobe Document Cloud. 

Overall the report concludes that consumers feel like the tax filing process is difficult and challenging, mainly due to an over-reliance on paper-based processes. Here’s a snapshot of consumers’ struggles with tax prep, according to ADI:

  • Only arguing with a significant other, getting a filling at the dentist, and changing a tire in the rain rank above doing taxes when it comes to unpleasant experiences. 
  • 46% of Americans agree that tax documents are the least desirable documents to work with, and nearly half of respondents (42%) said that an all-digital experience would make taxes easier. 
  • Their biggest headaches when preparing taxes are: finding paper documents (20%), printing a document in order to sign it (18%), and keeping track of the documents needed (15
  • The average consumer reports spending 6 hours preparing their taxes and managing 9 forms on average. 

To overcome these challenges, more and more consumers are thinking digital and adopting online document management solutions. 61% of consumers say that signing their online taxes electronically has simplified the process: 

  • Online tax preparation services see 10x more monthly visitors during tax season and a 30% higher number of visits per month during tax season. 
  • Since last February, consumers have signed 2.3x more documents via their mobile Fill & Sign app. 

On the other hand, online tax filing completion rates have been stagnating since 2014, and in parallel, ADI has found that smartphone filers are actually increasing in completion rates (however the mobile user base for filing taxes is relatively small compared to desktop).

Be sure to visit for a deeper look at the findings.