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Press release from PR Newswire

1 in 7 Americans Visited Online Tax Sites in January as Category Grows 15 Percent vs. Year Ago

Monday, March 05, 2012

1 in 7 Americans Visited Online Tax Sites in January as Category Grows 15 Percent vs. Year Ago16:13 EST Monday, March 05, 2012Intuit Leads Do-It-Yourself Tax Preparation Segment with 59 Percent Share of Tax Return Units Filed OnlineRESTON, Va., March 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released an analysis of U.S. visitation to the Online Taxes category in January, which showed nearly 1 in 7 U.S. Internet users visited the category to compile information and begin filing their 2011 tax returns. This number represented a gain of 15 percent versus January 2011, likely driven in part by ramped up ad expenditure among online tax preparers. Among online do-it-yourself (DIY) tax preparation providers, comScore data indicated that Intuit leads the market with nearly 60 percent of all tax units or returns filed online between January 1 and February 18, 2012. The three largest DIY online tax preparation providers (Intuit, TaxACT and H&R Block) accounted for more than 90 percent of DIY tax units filed online.(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080115/COMSCORELOGO)"While a large segment of Americans have become comfortable with filing their taxes online, the strong gains in the category this year seem to be propelled by increased marketing activity on the part of the key tax prep providers," said Brian Jurutka, comScore Senior Vice President. "During the first several weeks of 2012, we saw the top three DIY online tax prep providers dominate the category, representing more than 90 percent of all online filings, with Intuit alone accounting for a majority of the market. It will be interesting to see whether the overall growth in the category is sustained and how market shares among tax prep providers may shift as we approach tax filing day on April 17th."Top 3 DIY Tax Preparation Providers Account for 9 in 10 Online Tax Units Filed An analysis of the share of online tax units or returns filed through online tax preparation services from January 1 - February 18, 2012 shows Intuit's TurboTax service accounting for 58.7 percent of all self-prepared units filed online. TaxACT, recently acquired by InfoSpace, ranked second with 17.8 percent of tax units, followed by H&R Block which rounded out the top 3 with 15.8 percent share. Altogether, these three services accounted for 92.3 percent of tax units filed online during this period.Online DIY Tax Preparation Provider Share of Online Tax Units Filed*January 1, 2012 ? February 18, 2012Total U.S. ? Home and Work AudienceSource: comScore Tax BenchmarkerOnline Tax Preparation ProviderShare of Online Tax Units FiledJanuary 1 ? February 19, 2011January 1 ? February 18, 2012Intuit ? TurboTax57.5%58.7%InfoSpace ? TaxACT18.7%17.8%H&R Block15.4%15.8%Other8.4%7.7%*Non-Free File Alliance (FFA) 35-44 Year Olds Are Fastest Growing Demographic for Taxes CategoryA demographic analysis of visitation to the Taxes category shows growth to be spread out across all segments, with 35-44 year olds displaying the highest growth rate, having increased 24 percent from January 2011 through January 2012. Users between the ages of 25-34 and 45-54 followed, with each segment posting gains of 15 percent from the previous year. The 35-44 year old demographic, which previously ranked behind 25-34 year olds in terms of category visitation, now accounts for the greatest share of the category at 25 percent."The significant growth we're seeing among 35-44 year olds suggests that advertisers may be focusing their media plans on this age segment as an area of growth," added Mr. Jurutka. "In particular, tax prep services seem to be pushing the message that they can offer assistance to help consumers file correctly online, which may be appealing to a segment of the market that prefers conducting transactions on the web but may also have more complex filing needs."Growth in Visitation to Taxes Among Demographic SegmentsJanuary 2012Total U.S. - Home and Work AudienceSource: comScore Media MetrixDemographic Segment% Growth from January 2011Age     Age 18-245%    Age 25-3415%    Age 35-4424%    Age 45-5415%    Age 55-6414%    Age 65+8%Gender     Males19%    Females11%About comScorecomScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo. Follow Us on Twittertwitter.com/comScoretwitter.com/m_abrahamtwitter.com/gfulgoniSOURCE comScore, Inc.For further information: Carmela Aquino, comScore, Inc., +1-703-438-2024, press@comscore.com