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2017 Millennial Tax Filing Survey

On behalf of United Way Worldwide, ORC International conducted an online survey of 1,007 millennials ages 18-36 on November 14-19, 2017 to measure tax preparation habits and overall perceptions about filing taxes.


MyFreeTaxes Survey Background

The 2017 MyFreeTaxes Survey was administered by a third-party research firm in November 2017 (n = 1,007). This omnibus study – targeting millennial audiences (respondents aged 18-36 years old) – measured tax preparation habits and overall perceptions about filing taxes.


2017 MyFreeTaxes Survey Messaging

Millennials are unnecessarily spending money to file their taxes.

  • Out of those who filed their taxes, over one third (37%) of respondents still paid to have their taxes filed last year. These respondents invested in paid accountants or purchased online tax filing tools, spending money that could have been saved by using a free tax preparation service.

Millennials are leaving money on the table during tax season by not claiming the tax credits they have earned.

  • Fifty percent of those surveyed did not claim any tax credits last year. However, 67 percent of all respondents were interested in learning more about tax credits for which they are eligible. The tax credits that respondents were most interested in learning more about include:
    • Earned Income Tax Credit (30%)
    • Child Tax Credit (23%)

Millennials find taxes to be a source of stress and are concerned with maximizing their returns.

  • 74% of respondents indicate they felt some level of stress around filing taxes
  • Of the respondents who indicated that filing taxes was a stressful experience, the most common stressors were making a mistake (48%) and not getting a full refund (23%).

When it comes to deciding how to files their taxes, millennials ranked ease-of-use, security and cost as the most important attributes.

  • Ease-of-use of a tax preparation service (27%)
  • Ensuring my information is secure (24%)
  • Cost (i.e., if it’s free) (21%)

Millennials are eager to file their taxes.

  • Out of those who plan to file taxes, 87 percent of respondents said they planned to file their 2017 taxes in January or February 2018.


Survey Methodology

On behalf of United Way Worldwide, ORC International conducted an online survey of 1,007 millennials ages 18-36 on November 14-19, 2017. Full name of the panel: ORC International’s CARAVAN Millennial Omnibus.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.; Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options.


About ORC International

ORC International is a collaborative and consultative research partner to hundreds of organizations around the globe. We possess a wide variety of resources, tools and technologies to collect and analyze information for our clients. As a founding member of the Code of Standards of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and a member of the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR), we adhere to a rigorous Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research. ORC International is ISO 20252 certified. To achieve certification, ORC International passed a comprehensive, on-site audit. The certification establishes globally recognized terms, definitions, and service requirements for project management in research organizations. Processes outlined in ISO 20252 are designed to produce transparent, consistent, well documented and error-free methods of conducting and managing research projects. Adherence and certification to such standards provides a basis of confidence for clients and other constituencies that the work produced is being executed with quality processes and controls in place. The internationally recognized standard also provides a basis for subcontractor evaluation.

As required by CASRO, we will maintain the anonymity of our respondents. No information will be released that in any way will reveal the identity of a respondent. Our authorization is required for any publication of the research findings or their implications.

ORC International has exercised its best efforts in the preparation of this information. In any event, the company assumes no responsibility for any use which is made of this information or any decisions based upon it.