Preparers’ Fees, Workload Increasing: Survey

Register now

Tax preparers charge an average of $142 for a preparing a 1040 and up to an average of $566 for an 1120, according to a new fees survey from the National Association of Tax Professionals.

More than half the preparers surveyed (56%) request payment when the return is completed but before filing. Almost half (43%) said they prepared an increasing number of returns over the past two years; a similar percentage (46%) saw their return workload remain about the same over the past two years.

Among the other findings:

  • More than one in ten preparers (11%) saw the number of returns they prepared decrease over the last two years.
  • More than a quarter (26%) accept payment after a return is completed and filed.
  • Preparers report an increase since 2010 in such tasks as amending previous returns, representing clients in audits, helping clients with tax planning, reviewing returns done by another preparer and filing paper returns.
  • Preparers report a decrease since 2010 in calculating W-4 withholdings.
  • More than third of preparers (38%) charge a set fee for each form and schedule. No preparers surveyed offered tier or package discounts for services.
  • Compared with 2010, fewer preparers offer discounts for family or friends, families or dependents of clients, students, charities or nonprofits, or referred clients. Slightly more preparers do offer seniors’ discounts.
  • Most preparers surveyed (62%) have prepared taxes for more than 20 years.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.