Tax Season Panic Leads To Explosive Growth For TurboTax

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Downloads of the TurboTax Android app grew by around 1,385.1-percent for the three-week period ending January 14, according to a recent analysis conducted by mobile market intelligence firm App Ape. The app also managed to grow month-over-month in terms of users keeping the app installed by around 40.8-percent to 2,078,914 users and by just short of 85.68-percent with regard to monthly active users.

The figures are even more impressive week-over-week for the analyzed period, with TurboTax's app jumping by 351-percent, placing the application as the number one top trending finance app available for Android from the Google Play Store. The only figure shown by App Ape to have fallen comes in the form of a drop in daily active users reported at around 44.5-percent lower at the end of the three-week period.

This shouldn't come as a shock to anybody

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Taxes aren't always easy to get filed alone and tax laws tend to change with some frequency within the US, making it difficult to stay on top of what's legal and what isn't. TurboTax offers one of the most convenient ways to file taxes via a mobile device and under the most common circumstances, that's free to do. The app is updated as frequently as needed to adjust for changes in tax rules.

As long as the form needed is a simple 1040, users can simply take a snapshot of their W2 form to get the process started and that can be all it takes. The company also guarantees the resulting filing and will pay back any fines or fees the user pays to the IRS as a result of mistakes made in the process. Pay options are available for those users who need help.

Given that tax season is well underway, tax laws have been adjusted over the past couple of years, and that the IRS begins processing tax returns on January 28, that TurboTax is a trending application shouldn't be too surprising.

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Its sudden drop in daily active users and relatively low growth in monthly users compared to the overall increase in downloads can probably be explained in exactly the same way. Users are likely downloading the application, using it, and then uninstalling it — also accounting for the sudden drop-off in daily active users. April 15 will be the last day to file taxes in the US, so the rollercoaster of figures should be expected to continue up until that point.

A deeper trend

Equally important to TurboTax's success is the fact that more users than ever are connecting to the web via smartphones. That trend is expected to continue with shipments of the devices returning to growth in 2019 after a major plateau for the industry in 2018 saw shipments drop by 3-percent according to IDC.

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The overall trend witnessed with TurboTax's application is part of that trend and more users will likely continue to abandon traditional means of accomplishing these sorts of tasks in favor of more immediate, conventional methods. So the sudden increase in downloads and overall business for TurboTax and similar companies in a variety of industries will likely continue to grow moving forward.