Micala Ricketts
Micala Ricketts

Taxpayers are more than 2x more likely to use DIY software than an accountant to file their taxes, but why? Is it simply a matter of cost? Do taxpayers perceive DIY software to be more convenient?

Canopy commissioned an independent study to survey nearly 500 taxpayers about what tips them towards using DIY software or towards working with an accountant. It was conducted online with a random sample of US taxpayers who had been verified to have personally worked on their taxes within the past 12 months.

Here’s what we learned.

Why taxpayers use DIY software

There were a variety of reasons taxpayers gave for using DIY software over an accountant, but the top reasons (besides cost) were:

1. Time savings
2. Easy to file with the IRS
3. Tax return accuracy 
4. Peace of mind
5. Get refund faster 

The top reasons taxpayers switched from an accountant to DIY software were:

1. Cost
2. Time savings 
3. Tax situation became less complex 
4. More deductions found 
5. Better accuracy 

The top concerns of using an accountant besides cost were:

1. Data privacy 
2. Won't find all deductions 
3. Errors in return
4. Can't handle complex situations 
5. Hard to do 

The survey also dove into the reasons why some taxpayers choose to work with an accountant over DIY software, as well as the top ways accountants can win back clients from DIY software (even though taxpayers were more likely to use DIY software, they were 38% less likely to be satisfied if they did). 

You can download the full report for free here.

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