Tax returns are due in 70 days, and while now isn't the time to panic just yet, Certified Public Accountant schedules are booking up fast. Meanwhile, on Amazon.com ($AMZN), sales of tax software are pushing them up best-seller charts.
During the month of January, the top-15 Software products on Amazon reflect the time of year quite clearly:
|Name||Category||Category Rank (Average)||
Category Rank (Count)
|TurboTax Deluxe + State 2018 Tax Software [PC/Mac Disc] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||1||25|
|TurboTax Premier + State 2018 Tax Software [PC/Mac Disc] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||2.04||25|
|TurboTax Home & Business + State 2018 Tax Software [PC/Mac Disc] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||3.32||25|
|TurboTax Deluxe + State 2018 Tax Software [PC Download] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||4.72||25|
|TurboTax Deluxe 2018 Tax Software [PC/Mac Disc] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||5.64||25|
|H&R Block Tax Software Deluxe + State 2018 with 5% Refund Bonus Offer [PC Download]||Software||5.84||25|
|Quicken Deluxe 2019 Personal Finance Software 1-Year + 2 Bonus Months [PC/Mac Disc] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||8||2|
|TurboTax Premier + State 2018 Tax Software [PC Download] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||8.04||25|
|Norton Security Deluxe – 5 Devices – Amazon Exclusive 15 Month Subscription - Instant Download - 2019 Ready||Software||8.533333333||15|
|Norton Security Premium – 5 Devices – Amazon Exclusive 15 Month Subscription - Instant Download - 2019 Ready||Software||8.7||10|
|TurboTax Home & Business + State 2018 Tax Software [PC Download] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||9.28||25|
|TurboTax Deluxe + State 2018 Tax Software [MAC Download] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||10.6||25|
|H&R Block Tax Software Deluxe + State 2018 with 5% Refund Bonus Offer||Software||10.8||25|
|Quicken Deluxe 2019 Personal Finance Software 1-Year + 2 Bonus Months [PC/Mac Download] [Amazon Exclusive]||Software||12||3|
|TurboTax Business 2018 Tax Software [PC Disc]||Software||12.52||25|
Intuit Inc. ($INTU), the makers of TurboTax, dominated software sales-rank charts in January, sweeping up the top-5 across 7 different TurboTax software versions with an average category rank within the top-10.
H&R Block ($HRB) and Quicken ($PRIVATE:ROCKVENTURES) also had tax software within the top-10, while a pair of antivirus offerings from Norton ($SYMC) snuck into the January rankings as perennial best-sellers. Meanwhile, an Office suite offered by Microsoft ($MSFT) failed to crack the top-15, and crashed in the days leading up to and following New Year's Day.
That gives an idea of just how much tax software is selling these days; when the Microsoft Office suite is kicked out of the top-15 best-selling software products, it means that people are serious about another piece of important software. And as the 2018 tax return deadline approaches, that software is do-it-yourself filing programs.
A look at the TurboTax trend
Like clockwork, Intuit releases a new edition of TurboTax in the fall of the previous year so that the Ned Flanders of the world can throw in a few pieces of candy along with their early income tax documents. While it is not the killer app when it comes out, it skyrockets in sales right after New Year's.
The Deluxe software, which retails for $59.99, is TurboTax's most popular version, as it covers nearly every base for the typical income tax filer who owns a home.
Looking at last year's Deluxe Product shows the second half of a TurboTax software's life expectancy. It continues to be the best-selling software on Amazon until April, when the Homer Simpsons of the world are frantically trying to put their income taxes together. Then, right after tax season, sales of the software decline into oblivion until July.
People "Like" TurboTax, other tax software on Facebook... usually
Another tax-season phenomenon is the influx of people who go out of their way to "Like" tax software on Facebook ($FB).
Here is a look at the TurboTax Facebook page, which hasn't seen the effect of a "like surge" in 2019 yet.
Jackson Hewitt ($PRIVATE:JACKSONHEWITT) is also seeing a slower bump this year, moving within the range of 252,000 to 254,000 Likes on its page.
As for H&R Block, which has had an aggressive marketing season over the past few months towards income tax filers, they are seeing a similar bump to what they had back in 2018, which comes after several people unliked the page over the summer for whatever reason.
On Facebook, tax software companies in groups might have hit the market cap on people who are such big fans of income tax filing software that they go out of their way to "Like" their page. But still, looking at the Amazon best-seller rankings show that tax season is in full swing, and this is a big few months for the largest players in the software space.