In order to determine how pressing of a matter taxes are to the general population of the United Sates, Chitika Insights analyzed a series of hundreds of millions of search impressions ranging between the dates of March 23rd and the 29th.
Study: Taxes on the Mind of US Searchers; Low Income, Unemployed Most Active
17 April 2012 By John Crowley
For tax season, D-Day is April 17th. On this wonderful spring day, the American Taxpayer will be obligated to file their taxes or request an extension from the IRS, delaying the process until October 15th.
According to the IRS, they expect somewhere in the vicinity of 144 million individual tax returns to be filed this year. Surprising to most, a vast majority of these will be filed before or on the April 17th deadline. For the early birds, the IRS starts accepting tax returns on January 17th.
Here at Chitika Insights we were trying to grasp the urgency Americans felt towards getting their taxes completed. Is there a mad rush to understand the rules, embodied by visiting the IRS web domain? Are people seeking help with their taxes in the form of a tax professional such as a CPA, a service such as H&R Block or its competitor, Jackson Hewitt? Or is the American Taxpayer a more sophisticated individual, looking for self-help alternatives in order to deal with their own impending dilemma?
In order to determine how pressing of a matter taxes are to the general population of the United Sates, Chitika Insights analyzed a series of hundreds of millions of search impressions ranging between the dates of March 23rd and the 29th. We then looked at the percentage of all queries with certain topics of interest [taxes], which is representative to approximate overall activity. By combining the data obtained using our proprietary algorithm with the facts set forth by the Census Bureau we found some interesting connections between geographic locations, local demographics and query results. What we found was quite interesting.
We found that people showed the foremost interest in the term “tax”. The heat map below depicts geographic popularity of the search term “tax”. Blue equates to colder regions, where there was little search activity. A deep green represents heavy search activity where the query contains the term “tax”. Searches for CPA were quite miniscule. Perhaps the most surprising result of this study was that people showed very little interest in attaining help via H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, TaxSlayer, TurboTax, and even IRS. One would assume that these would be the most popular topics for easy access tax help.
The most profound finding was in regard to Washington D.C. Our study showed that one in one hundred searches coming out of D.C. were tax related. This is 55% higher than the next highest [by “tax” query results] geographic locale, Mississippi, where approximately six in one thousand searches included the term “tax”. The level of interest continues to experience a decline thereafter. Alaska showed the least interest in the term “tax”, where we found in it just three in one thousand searches.
At this point, demographic information came into play. We cross-referenced our data with the percentage of the population below the poverty line, as well as the unemployment rate, which revealed interesting correlations.
We found that the greater the percentage of the population below the poverty line, the higher the likelihood someone in that area would potentially search for tax related queries. This trend persisted when we ran our numbers versus unemployment rate [see charts]. Those areas with high unemployment showed a high correlation with the level of tax interest within a state.
Be sure to stay tuned to Chitika Insights for future research and reports surrounding current events both in and out of the tech industry.
The Business Leader Post is pleased to provide this data report from Chitika Insights, the research arm of the online advertising network Chitika. If you have a question concerning the data in this report, please contact the Chitika Insights team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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