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Navigating Tax Season: The Importance of Digital Accessibility for All

By Kelly Georgevich, CFO at AudioEye

Kelly Georgevich

Tax season can be a stressful time for many Americans. In fact, according to a recent GOBankingRates survey, 12% of people would even prefer jury duty over filing taxes. With complex regulations, unclear language on the IRS website, and minimal tax education in schools, it’s no wonder people second-guess whether they’re doing everything right.

For the one in four adults in the United States who live with a disability, these challenges become even more magnified. 

As tax season swings into full gear, millions of Americans are turning to digital platforms to file their taxes, access important forms, and seek guidance from government websites. Advancements in AI and other digital technologies have attempted to make the tax process easier for Americans, but unfortunately, in our increasingly digital world, digital accessibility is an aspect that is often overlooked. 

Recently, AudioEye released its Digital Accessibility Index, which evaluates the accessibility of some of the world’s leading websites and brands. Through a blend of AI analysis and expert audits from members of the disability community, the Index pinpointed the most prevalent digital accessibility issues across 40,000 websites. 

When looking at government sites specifically, many were missing key elements such as page labels or missing form field announcements, which made it difficult for people with disabilities to access pages or submit personal information. 

“For some government websites, you can tell they’ve put a lot of work into accessibility. And for others, it’s like they just threw things together and whatever happens, happens,” said Jennifer Piening, member of AudioEye’s A11iance Community. 

In a time where everyone is scrambling and worrying about whether or not they are filing taxes correctly, accessibility should not be another hurdle to jump over. Digital accessibility should be a cornerstone of inclusivity and fairness in accessing essential services, especially during tax season.

The Impact of Digital Accessibility

When we talk about digital accessibility, we often point out that only 3% of the web is accessible to people with disabilities. The White House has stated that “nearly half of the most popular Federal Government websites are not accessible to all Americans,” and the Department of Justice has proposed new rules calling for more compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) among government entities. 

With increased government attention, and as the move to close the digital accessibility gap grows, it’s a no-brainer that every organization should be investing in digital accessibility, whether it’s to maintain compliance or, most importantly, to create inclusive experiences so that people with disabilities can navigate without running into additional barriers. 

Here are some important considerations for making tax websites more accessible:

  1. Prioritize accessibility in design and development

Begin by assessing your website and digital assets for compliance with WCAG accessibility standards. Conducting regular accessibility audits not only identifies issues but also instills a proactive approach to maintaining accessibility. Additionally, rather than treating it as an afterthought or a compliance task, integrating accessibility as a core value of the website development process ensures that accessibility is considered at every stage, preventing issues from arising later. 

Your site is accessible when a person with a disability can go through the entire tax preparation process in the same manner as a non-disabled person.

  1. Identify and remediate accessibility issues

Understanding where accessibility barriers exist on your website is crucial. Focus on critical pages, such as those with high touchpoints to access key information, login pages, and forms asking for the input of personal information, to uncover areas needing improvement. 

AudioEye’s Digital Accessibility Index found that when forms didn’t audibly announce when required information was missing on government sites, non-sighted individuals had no indication that their form was not submitted. There were also a number of links that lacked descriptive labels – i.e. instead of being clearly labeled, each link simply said “learn more” instead of informing where users would be navigated to once a link was clicked.  

  1. Utilize accessibility resources and experts

One of the best ways to ensure that experiences are truly accessible is to involve the disability community in the design and testing process. These are the people who will be directly impacted by issues of accessibility, and their experiences and expertise can help point to specific barriers that are oftentimes overlooked. 

In addition to manual testing by individuals, investing in an automated solution can help to streamline testing and solve a large number of common accessibility issues in real-time.

Tax season can be daunting for many, especially those facing accessibility challenges. By recognizing the need for digital accessibility in tax reporting and adopting best practices, we can work toward reducing the amount of barriers that may stand in the way of fulfilling tax obligations. After all, digital accessibility is not just a box to be checked — it’s a continued commitment to equity and inclusion.

Author Bio:

Kelly Georgevich is an experienced finance and business leader and CFO at AudioEye. Kelly brings over 15 years of experience with high-growth, entrepreneurial companies with specific focus on SaaS and technology. 

Most recently, Kelly served as the CFO of, Inc, an e-commerce platform helping both SMB and enterprise brands reduce customer acquisition costs, increase retention, and maximize their customers’ lifetime value. During her tenure, the company experienced exponential revenue growth while maintaining positive cash flows and profitability. Prior to, Kelly served as Controller at Fuzebox Software Corporation where she assisted the company through successful acquisition to Fuze (formerly Thinking Phones). She also served on the Board of Directors for Girls in Tech as Secretary and Treasurer from 2015 until 2020.

Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa and spent the first seven years of her career in audit at EY in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Melbourne, Australia. She is a Certified Public Accountant registered in the state of Minnesota.

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