Sunday, November 11, 2007

E-Filing Data

Interesting graph over on Swivel showing the proportion of people in the US using e-filing for tax returns.

Percent E-file Reaches Record Levels

Interacting with government/local government via the Web is really an idea who's time has come - and not a moment too soon.

The interesting thing about this graph is that as an adoption curve it's not that steep. You would think that network effects would have resulted in a steeper climb - as more people e-file, tell others how easy it is, they do it, tell others, etc.

I remember seeing some data on online banking back in the early 2000s and you could clearly see the rapidly increasing adoption of that service. My guess is there is probably a lot of built in inertia - accountants you have always used, not trusting some of the early services, cost.

I'd love to see data on paying parking tickets via the Web - that's a service I have been using a lot recently :(

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Isabel said...

People only file their taxes once a year, which might explain why the network effect is not so strong. People just don't talk about filing their taxes that often.

Paul Soldera said...

Yeah, good point. It's probably not talked about that much - especially compared to the monthly habit of online banking.

Still feels like a 'strange' adoption curve though.

Beecham said...

how many of these people are e-filing themselves? or are they having their tax accountants file for them electronically? (H-R Block, etc.) I might have assumed that the adoption curve would be steeper if it's actually the tax accountants filing online.

And those filing online may be a certain population subset: those with simpler taxes, and be keen to get tax rebates? Can you even file more complex taxes online?