SOASTA ‘Death and Taxes’ Study: 1 in 5 Americans Plan to File Online April 15

According to new survey data, 21 percent of Americans plan to file
their taxes online April 15, and nearly half of those who plan to file
are worried about tax websites having problems on tax day

the leader in performance analytics, today announced the findings of its
2016 SOASTA “Death and Taxes” Survey, conducted online on their behalf
by the Harris Poll in March. In this study, 2,035 American adults were
polled to determine when and how Americans plan to file their taxes this
year. According to the new research, 33 percent of Americans said they
had already filed them online, 9 percent said they planned to file
online before April 15, and 21 percent said they would wait until April
15 to file their taxes online.


  • 6 percent say it doesn’t take that long to complete
  • 6 percent hate doing them
  • 5 percent always wait until the last minute
  • 4 percent need a deadline to motivate them
  • 3 percent say they always get distracted
  • 2 percent say waiting until the last minute is exciting
  • 1 percent say their employer takes too long to send the paperwork

Tax website performance is a concern

Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans who plan to file 2015 taxes worry
about tax websites having problems on tax day. Reasons include:

  • Their personal information could be made vulnerable (31 percent)
  • Their work online could be lost (15 percent)
  • They could be financially liable for government penalties (13 percent)

Millennials are especially worried about this—58 percent of those who
plan to file 2015 tax returns are concerned that tax websites will have
problems on April 15.

A spoonful of sugar…

Of the 51 percent of Americans who have not yet filed taxes, 20 percent
say they will do some online shopping while preparing their taxes.

  • 8 percent will order clothes or accessories in anticipation of their
  • 6 percent will order food from a restaurant online
  • 6 percent say they will purchase a vacation package in anticipation of
    their refund

“As Benjamin Franklin famously said, in this world nothing can be said
to be certain, except death and taxes. Millions of Americans are going
online to file their taxes, and many of them will wait until the last
minute,” said Ann Sung Ruckstuhl, Chief Marketing Officer of SOASTA.

“This means digital tax businesses must be prepared for the influx of
traffic that comes with tax season, or the user experience suffers.
Traffic spikes that accompany tax season can cause websites to crash,
resulting in considerable customer annoyance and dissatisfaction. To
avoid this, today’s digital businesses must continuously measure, test
and optimize their websites and mobile apps to ensure that tax-paying
Americans have the best possible experience—whether filing those
unavoidable taxes or doing a little online shopping while they file,”
Ruckstuhl added.

Survey methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll
on behalf of SOASTA from March 21-23, 2016, among 2,035
adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,780 plan to file 2015 taxes, and
1,006 have not yet filed 2015 taxes. This online survey is not based on
a probability sample, and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical
sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology,
including weighting variables, please contact Gaby Perez-Silva:


SOASTA is the leader in performance analytics. The SOASTA platform
enables digital business owners to gain unprecedented and continuous
performance insights into their real user experience on mobile and web
devices in real time and at scale. With more than 100 million tests
performed and more than 250 billion user experiences measured, tested
and optimized, SOASTA is the digital performance expert trusted by
industry-leading brands, including 49 of the Top 100 Internet retailers,
six of the Forbes Top 10 media companies and seven of the Forbes Top 10
tech companies, including Apple, Target, Nordstrom, Staples, Home Depot,
Sears, Walmart, Etsy, Nike, Best Buy, Adobe, Intuit, Microsoft, DIRECTV,
Netflix and CBS. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain
View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, visit


Gaby Perez-Silva, 650-390-6700