Survey: How Much Americans Pay to Prepare and File Their Taxes

The IRS estimates that 70% of Americans qualify for free tax filing, but our latest survey found that only 25% filed for free. Furthermore, 58% spent $50 or more to file their taxes.

San Diego, CA, February 15, 2021 --( The majority of Americans paid to file their taxes last year, with 58% spending $50 or more to prepare and file, according the latest College Investor survey.

The College Investor surveyed 1,200 Americans to find out how much they paid to prepare and file their taxes, what tax software or service they may have used, and other key aspects of their tax filing experience.

The full survey findings may be viewed here:

Here's a quick summary of what was found:

- The majority of Americans surveyed Paid to file their taxes. In fact, 58% paid $50 or more to file their federal tax return.

- Only 25% of those surveyed reported filing their federal tax return for free. And 32% of those requiring a state tax return reported filing it for free.

- Filing status mattered more than tax bracket when it comes to how much Americans pay for taxes. Those who filed single were much more likely to file taxes for free versus those who were married filing jointly or other tax filing status.

- 46% of Americans surveyed used tax software (like TurboTax) to file their taxes. A growing percentage (11%) used a full-service virtual tax service last year (such as Picnic Tax).

Robert Farrington, founder of The College Investor, says, "It was interesting to see how many Americans were paying to file their taxes (and how much they paid) given the IRS estimates that 70% of Americans should be able to file for free. Furthermore, seeing how filing status made a huge difference in moving people from a free to paid tier, we are clearly seeing a lot of Americans falling for 'gotchas' in free tax software advertisements."

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Robert Farrington