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Americans turned to tax sites in droves in February

According to a new study from Nielsen, tax-related Web sites were viewed by 53 million Americans in February alone.

A look at traffic on tax-related Web sites over the last few years.
A look at traffic on tax-related Web sites over the last few years. Nielsen

The U.S. tax season still has a few more days to go before it's over (for punctual filers anyway), but it appears many Americans have already done most of the work needed to file their personal financials.

Research firm Nielsen today released its findings on tax-related-site usage during the busy season. Not surprisingly, given past history, February was the most active site among Americans, with one-quarter of all U.S.-based Web users heading over to tax-related sites. All told, the 53 million Americans who went to tax sites in February viewed more than 1.4 billion pages.

For the second year in a row, the Internal Revenue Service Web site was the most popular tax destination, with a whopping 28 million Americans heading to the government agency's page in February. TurboTax, which provides software for individuals to prepare their own taxes, took the second spot with 25.4 million visitors. H&R Block and TaxAct followed with 19.5 million and 6.2 million visitors, respectively.

Visits to the IRS site were much higher than in previous years, though Nielsen didn't say why that might be. Back in February 2010, TurboTax was the most popular tax-related destination, and the company was barely inched out by the IRS last year.

For tax-related Web sites, 2012 might be an even better year than 2011. Although much of the traffic related to taxes drops off after February, this year's tax season has been extended to April 17 because the typical closing day, April 15, is a Sunday. The IRS extended the deadline to next Tuesday because Monday is Emancipation Day. That means two additional days for sites to increase traffic.

One other tidbit from the Nielsen study: women made up the majority of visitors to select tax-preparation sites, like H&R Bock and Completetax.