The Tax Day Countdown: A Look at America’s Filing Habits

Updated on April 9, 2024
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Do you often file your taxes at the last minute, or miss the deadline altogether? You’re not alone. Our latest study is about Americans’ tax-filing behaviors and attitudes, and it uncovers the procrastination trends and the perceived complexity of our tax system. By surveying 1,000 Americans and analyzing search volume trends since 2020, the Greenback team sheds light on the reasons behind tax tardiness. Join us as we explore what drives the timing of America’s tax filings and how it reflects on the broader challenges taxpayers face.

Key Takeaways

  • 1 in 5 Americans have filed their taxes late.
  • More than 4 in 5 think the US tax filing system is complex, and average searches for “how to file taxes” have increased by 303% since 2020.
  • More than 1 in 10 (12%) say they typically file taxes just days before the deadline.
  • Baby boomers and millennials are the most likely to think the US tax filing system is complex.
  • 77% feel that other nations’ tax systems are easier than that of the US.
Infographic exploring American tax filing habits
  • Over 4 in 5 Americans (83%) think the US tax filing system is very complex.
  • The average search volume for “how to file taxes” has increased by 303% since 2020. Searches for this tend to peak every year in February, with an average search volume of 50,000 searches.
  • 1 in 5 Americans have filed taxes late. Baby boomers were the most likely to have done so (30%), and Gen Z was the least likely (15%).
  • Americans’ preferred tax-filing times:
    • As early as possible (46%)
    • Weeks before the deadline (38%)
    • Within a week of the deadline (12%)
    • Late, with an extension (4%)
  • Over 3 in 4 Americans (77%) feel other nations’ tax systems are easier than the US tax system. The top countries perceived to have an easier tax filing system, by the percentage of respondents naming each, are:
    • 1. Canada (46%)
    • 2. UK (42%)
    • 3. Sweden (37%)
    • 4. Denmark (33%)
    • 5. Australia (29%)


We surveyed 1,000 Americans to investigate attitudes and behaviors toward tax filing. Of the respondents, 15% were Gen Z, 53% were millennials, 22% were Gen X, and 10% were baby boomers. We also analyzed search volume data from 2020 to 2024 to look at search trends for the term “how to file taxes.”

About Greenback Tax Services

Greenback Expat Tax Services simplifies the tax filing process for US expats through personalized support and digital solutions. Our team is dedicated to providing efficient, accurate, and hassle-free tax preparation services, ensuring that expats can navigate their tax obligations with confidence and ease.

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