Tax Prep Fees on the Rise

Tax practitioners will be charging more this year for tax preparation, according to an annual survey by the National Society of Accountants.

Taxpayers can expect to pay an average of $261 for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return, the survey found, compared to the $246 reported in last year’s survey.

The fee for non-itemized return will also rise, to $152 for a Form 1040 and state return, against $143 last year.

“The IRS says it takes an average of four hours just to complete and submit a Form 1040,” says NSA executive vice president John Ams. “Add at least another hour if you also have to complete a state return. You have to ask, ‘How much is your time worth?’”

Fee information was collected in a survey of tax preparers conducted by NSA. The tax and accounting firms surveyed are largely owners, principals and partners of local “Main Street” companies who have an average of more than 26 years of experience.

The survey also reported the average fees for preparing other Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms, including:

  • $218 for a Form 1040 Schedule C (business);
  • $590 for a Form 1065 (partnership);
  • $806 for a Form 1120 (corporation);
  • $761 for a Form 1120S (S corporation);
  • $497 for a Form 1041 (fiduciary);
  • $667 for a Form 990 (tax exempt);
  • $63 for a Form 940 (Federal unemployment);
  • $142 for Schedule D (gains and losses);
  • $165 for Schedule E (rental); and,
  • $196 for Schedule F (farm).

Naturally, fees vary by region, firm size, population, and economic strength of an area. According to the NSA, the average tax preparation fees for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return in each U.S. census district are:

  • New England (Ct., Maine, Mass., N.H., R.I., Vt.) – $251; Middle Atlantic (N.J., N.Y., Pa.) – $274;
  • South Atlantic (Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Md., N.C., S.C., Va,, W.Va.) – $270;
  • East South Central (Ala., Ky., Miss., Tenn.) – $294;
  • West South Central (Ark., La., Okla., Texas) – $242;
  • East North Central (Ill. Ind., Mich., Ohio, Wis.) – $238;
  • West North Central (Iowa, Kan., Minn., Mo., Neb., N.D., S.D.) – $208;
  • Mountain (Ariz., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.M., Utah, Wyo.) – $245; and,
  • Pacific (Alaska, Calif., Hawaii, Ore., Wash.) – $303.
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