How Much Do Tax Preparers Make Per Return? (Best solution)


1 year $11.04 per hour
1-4 years $12.18 per hour
5-9 years $15.02 per hour
10-19 years $16.46 per hour

Do tax preparers make good money?

  • A tax preparer can make really good money their first year preparing others taxes, but prior preparation prevents poor performance, as the old saying goes. So first figure out your overall employment situation, and find out whether your starting at a local office,

Do tax preparers make good money?

Income tax preparers typically don’t start out earning high wages; however, their earnings grow as they gain clients and build their reputation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, tax preparers earned an average salary of ​$52,710​ per year as of May 2020. Salaries for CPAs are even higher.

How much does a tax preparer charge per client?

The average cost of hiring a tax professional ranges from $146 to $457. Purchasing tax accounting software can be a less expensive option; it can be free (for simple returns) and for more complex filing options, it will generally cost less than $130.

How much can a tax preparer make in a season?

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $73,000 and as low as $18,000, the majority of Seasonal Tax Preparer salaries currently range between $30,000 (25th percentile) to $52,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $65,000 annually across the United States.

Is it hard to become a tax preparer?

The task of becoming a tax preparer can be relatively easy compared to the rocky road of some similar ventures, such as becoming a real estate agent or an insurance agent. Tax preparation can be a quirky profession, meaning it is essentially not a year round profession but a more seasonal one.

What do tax preparers do?

A tax preparer is an individual who prepares, calculates, and files income tax returns on behalf of individuals and businesses.

Why do tax preparers charge so much?

Most tax preparers base their charges on the complexity of your tax situation and the completeness of your information. In fact, many say they’ll charge extra when a client is poorly organized and has incomplete records of their income and deductions.

What should I charge for tax preparation?

According to the National Society of Accountants, the average fee in 2020 for preparing Form 1040 with Schedule A to itemize personal deductions, along with a state income tax return, was a flat fee of $323; the average fee for Form 1040 with the standard deduction, plus a state income tax return, was $220.

How do I become a tax preparer?

Eligibility for Becoming Income Tax Return Preparer Any individual who holds a graduate degree from a recognised Indian Univerisity in the fields of Business Administration or Management or Commerce or Economics or Law or Mathematics or Statistics can become an Income Tax Return Preparer.

How much do tax business owners make?

Successful independent (self-employed) tax preparers, operating their own tax preparation businesses, can make substantially more money than a tax preparer who is an employee. Many independent tax preparers earn $100,000 or more per tax season.

How much can a self employed tax preparer make?

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $161,000 and as low as $18,000, the majority of Self Employed Tax Preparer salaries currently range between $31,000 (25th percentile) to $73,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $112,500 annually across the United States.

How much do Enrolled Agents make?

An early career Enrolled Agent with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of ₹442,186 based on 8 salaries. A mid-career Enrolled Agent with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹706,931 based on 5 salaries.

Can I make a living as a tax preparer?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the average salary of a tax preparer as $46,860, however this number can increase if you earn an additional degree and gain experience. In addition, firms in cities with a higher cost of living tend to pay tax preparers more.

Do I have to file taxes if I made less than $5000?

If your gross income is less than the amount shown below, you’re off the hook! You are not required to file a tax return with the IRS. But remember, if Federal taxes were withheld from your earnings, you’ll want to file a tax return to get any withholdings back.

Are tax preparers in demand?

Growth Rates Employment for tax preparers is expected to continue to rise through 2022 by nearly 14 percent, according to ONet Online. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job growth for accountants in general will continue to grow by 13 percent through the same year.

Here’s How Much Money Accountants And Tax Preparers Earn In Every State

The 2019 tax filing season is in full gear now that January is done and February has begun, after the formal opening of the season on January 28, 2019. And this year represents a watershed moment in history: Specifically, it is the first time that the new tax legislation, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, would have an impact on American taxpayers. According to the Internal Revenue Service, more than 18.3 million Americans claimed refunds totaling $12.6 billion in the first week of the tax filing season.

Certain elements of society, particularly accountants and tax preparers, do, without a doubt, benefit from this time of year in some way.

Check out the complete breakdown below to see where accountants and tax preparers make the least money and where they make the most money in their careers.

10 States Where Accountants and Tax Preparers Earn the Most Money

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ mean annual pay statistics, the following are the top-10 states in which accountants and tax preparers earn the most:

State Accountants and Auditors
New York $95,430
New Jersey $91,400
Virginia $84,740
California $83,540
Alaska $82,040
Connecticut $82,040
Texas $81,330
Maryland $80,930
Massachusetts $80,280
Illinois $80,050

In terms of geographic location, the states that pay accountants and auditors the most on average are situated in the Northeast, West, and South; there are three, two, and three states in eachCensus-designated region, respectively. The following are the top ten states in which tax preparers make the most money: a.

State Tax Preparers
Colorado $73,740
Massachusetts $62,300
California $61,970
Pennsylvania $57,720
New York $54,470
Maryland $53,560
Minnesota $52,780
New Jersey $52,620
Texas $50,120
Ohio $49,860

Tax preparers, on average, make far less money than accountants and auditors. There are several states, however, that are unique in terms of the annual salary they pay to tax preparers. In Colorado, for example, tax preparers make an average of $73,740 per year, compared to accountants and auditors who earn an average of $79,300 per year – a difference of only $5,560. Those working as Virginia tax preparers make much less than their accounting and auditing counterparts: $37,770 for tax preparers compared to $84,740 for accounting and auditing professionals, a differential of $46,970.

10 States Where Accountants and Tax Preparers Earn the Least Money

The following is a summary of the top-10 states in which accountants and tax preparers make the least amount of money.

State Accountants and Auditors
Mississippi $59,960
North Dakota $60,550
South Carolina $64,220
Hawaii $64,410
Idaho $64,640
Kansas $65,090
South Dakota $65,460
Nevada $65,580
Montana $65,600
Kentucky $65,840

It is dominated by states from the southern United States and the midwestern United States, with just one state from the Census-designated western United States, Hawaii, on the list. This state is unique in that, for the most part, the earnings are correlated to the cost of living in their various jurisdictions. Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the country, but it also has one of the lowest salaries for accountants and auditors, ranking among the lowest in the country.

State Tax Preparers
Mississippi $27,520
Wyoming $27,690
West Virginia $32,200
Arkansas $33,720
South Carolina $34,260
Idaho $35,740
Alabama $35,750
Illinois $35,990
Indiana $36,830
Louisiana $37,260
Arizona $37,690

How Much Accountants and Tax Preparers Earn In Each State

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are the average annual earnings of accountants and tax preparers in each of the 50 states:

State Tax Preparers Accountants and Auditors
Alabama $35,750 $69,650
Alaska $49,450 $82,040
Arizona $37,690 $69,340
Arkansas $33,720 $66,260
California $61,970 $83,540
Colorado $73,740 $79,300
Connecticut $46,350 $82,040
Delaware $42,600 $79,250
Florida $39,230 $70,050
Georgia $39,330 $74,950
Hawaii $48,840 $64,410
Idaho $35,740 $64,640
Illinois $35,990 $80,050
Indiana $36,830 $66,600
Iowa $43,780 $66,500
Kansas $38,830 $65,090
Kentucky $44,430 $65,840
Louisiana $37,260 $65,930
Maine $42,050 $67,980
Maryland $53,560 $80,930
Massachusetts $62,300 $80,280
Michigan n/a $75,650
Minnesota $52,780 $71,420
Mississippi $27,520 $59,960
Missouri $41,020 $70,180
Montana $37,770 $65,600
Nebraska $43,870 $66,140
Nevada $48,270 $65,580
New Hampshire $39,670 $72,360
New Jersey $52,620 $91,400
New Mexico $39,420 $66,970
New York $54,470 $95,430
North Carolina $44,680 $75,660
North Dakota $47,310 $60,550
Ohio $49,860 $70,640
Oklahoma $46,890 $72,350
Oregon $41,930 $70,480
Pennsylvania $57,720 $68,780
Rhode Island $42,060 $74,730
South Carolina $34,260 $64,220
South Dakota $42,570 $65,460
Tennessee $46,340 $67,360
Texas $50,120 $81,330
Utah $49,860 $70,640
Vermont $48,610 $75,470
Virginia $37,770 $84,740
Washington $38,070 $76,010
West Virginia $32,200 $67,510
Wisconsin $40,280 $67,240
Wyoming $27,690 $67,510

Please see below for links to the other state-by-state studies in this ongoing series, which include

  • Listed below is the average salary for debt collectors in each state. In each state, here’s how much money real estate agents make:

What’s Hot Right Now: Why the 1970s Were the Worst Decade for the American Economy

How Much Money Can I Make?

Start a Tax Preparation Business and Break into a Rewarding and Lucrative Career!
How Much Money Can I Make From My Tax Preparation Business?
Starting a tax preparation business can be a great idea if you are inclined to be an entrepreneur. The amount of money you make will depend on both your market and especially on how good you are at attracting new clients. Home based tax preparers can find it easier to attract new clients because they have little overhead and can charge less than the competition.What does the term “Peak Filing Season” mean?There are actually two “Peak Filing Seasons”. The first “Peak Filing Season” begins the second week of January and continues through the third to the last week of February, when taxpayers who are getting tax refunds file their tax returns. The second “Peak Filing Season” begins late in March (usually the last week) and continues until the tax filing deadline, April 15th, when taxpayers with difficult tax returns and those taxpayers who are paying tax due file their tax returns. These are the two busiest periods for tax preparation business and therefore the most profitable periods of time for you to be preparing taxes. This is when you will make the most money. Everything that you’ll be doing with your tax preparation business is time-related. Time is money! Consequently, you must always “keep pointed towards profits”. Ask yourself several times throughout the day: “Will what I am doing right now result in a profit?” If the answer is no, then stop doing it! Do something that will result in a profit. This attitude is critical during the fast-paced, relatively short peak filing seasons. Time is of the essence! That is a fact of life for a successful tax preparation business. The more tax returns you do per hour and per day, the more money you will make. Keep in mind, that tax return accuracy is of utmost importance. Preparing tax returns quickly, but incorrectly, will get you nowhere in the long run. During your first tax season, or two, with your tax preparation business you’ll still be learning and finding new clients, and thus you’ll probably make less money than in future years. High earning tax preparers are fast and efficient at preparing tax returns.
When will the money start rolling in?Unfortunately, during your first year or two with your tax preparation business, you probably won’t be that fast and efficient. But with time, you will be. It generally takes three (3) years to launch a successful tax preparation business. Through effective marketing and by providing excellent client service, your tax preparation business will grow through high client retention and client referrals. You have to be patient. You have got to be in it for the long haul. It can take a long time to become an overnight success! According to the National Society of Accountants, the average price to file Form 1040 with Schedule A (Itemized Deductions) and a state tax return was$273in2017. The survey also reported the average fees for preparing additional federal tax forms, including:
  • $656 for a Form 1065 (United States Return of Partnership Income)
  • $826 for a Form 1120 (United States Corporation Income Tax Return)
  • $809 for a Form 1120S (United States Income Tax Return for a S Corporation)
  • And $656 for a Form 1065 (United States Return of Partnership Income).
  • $482 for a Form 1041 (United States Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts)
  • $733 for a Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax)
  • And $482 for a Form 1041 (United States Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts).
During the 3-month tax season tax preparers can earn up to $50,000 or more. Year-round income opportunities also exist for tax preparers who provide complementary services such as bookkeeping, payroll processing, or financial planning.According to the Occupational Employment and Wage report for May2017(released onMarch 30, 2018), issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national mean wage estimates for tax preparers is$22.64per hour,$47,090annually. The bottom ten percent of tax preparers earned$9.70per hour,$20,170annually. The top ten percent of tax preparers earned$39.30per hour,$81,740annually. Source – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Successful independent (self-employed) tax preparers, operating their own tax preparation businesses, can make substantially more money than a tax preparer who is an employee. Many independent tax preparers earn $100,000 or more per tax season. If you are a knowledgeable tax preparer, with excellent marketing skills, you can make substantially more than that. Of course, you can also make much less than that too. It all depends on you. The size of your client base matters tremendously as the more clients you have, the more tax returns you will prepare, and the more money you will make. As you gain experience as a tax preparer, you will almost certainly have more clients and make more money. But that won’t happen overnight. You have to put in hard work, be an excellent marketer, be patient, and provide excellent service to your clients. You should be prepared to give your tax preparation business your best shot for at least three (3) tax seasons in order to build a solid client base and begin to see a substantial income. It takes time and persistence to develop a rewarding and lucrative tax preparation business, and there will be many ups and downs along the way. Many successful tax preparers launched their tax preparation businesses part-time over three (3) or more years – then went full-time once their tax preparation business was up and running.
What our customers are saying� you can take their word for it! View our Testimonials
How Much Money Does It Cost To Start A Tax Preparation Business?
Becoming a Tax PreparerIt doesn’t cost much at all to become a tax preparer. Ourfederal income tax courseis free. There are no formal federal educational requirements for tax preparers. Only four (4) states require licensing. The IRS charges $50 for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). The IRS does not charge for an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN). After completing the aforementioned, you are a tax preparer.Starting a Home-Based Tax Preparation BusinessStarting a home-based tax preparation business can also be done with minimal start-up costs. With little overhead, you can charge less than the competition and still make a great profit. It’s easy to run a tax preparation business out of your home and charge less than the well known tax preparation franchises. The primary things that you will need to start a home-based tax preparation business, some of which you probably already have, are:
  • A computer, a printer, and a copier are required. High-speed internet access is required. a telephone
  • Basic office supplies
  • Business cards
  • Tax preparation software
  • Professional tax preparation software
If you are like most people, you already have a computer, multi-function printer, an internet connection, and a phone. If so, yourinitial out-of-pocket expenses should run $300 – $500. $500 – $1,000 total should be sufficient to coverall of your start-up expenses the first year . Some of the expenses, such as part of the cost on the tax preparation software, can be deferred and paid for with the money that you make “in season” preparing the tax returns.What About Advertising Expenses?You should start by talking about your new tax preparation business to people that you already know in your community, such as family, friends, and co-workers, before advertising or marketing to the general public. Talk to your family, friends, and co-workers and pass out your business cards. This is a low-stress way to get started while you fine-tune your tax preparation business. And don’t forget, when you deliver a client’s tax return and they are happy with your service ALWAYS ASK FOR REFERRALS. Word-of-mouth is the number one way that independent home-based tax preparers get their business. If you are good at attracting and retaining clients, you can make excellent money by starting your own tax preparation business. But don’t forget, it can take a long time to become an overnight success!
BUSINESS RESULTS DISCLAIMER: Every effort has been made to accurately represent the tax preparation business on this website. There is no guarantee, however, that you will experience success or earn any money using the methods and ideas described on this website. This website should not be interpreted as a promise or guarantee of earnings or success. Earning potential and success is completely dependent upon the person using these methods. Your level of success in attaining the results described on this website depends on the time you devote to your business, your marketing ability, and other personal factors. Since these factors differ from individual to individual we cannot guarantee your success or income. Many factors will determine your actual results and no guarantees whatsoever are made that you will achieve the results described herein.
All of the people represented in the images on this web site are in fact models.
Start A Tax Preparation Business is a Division of WorldWideWeb Tax, Inc., an IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider.
Copyright � 1998 – 2018 WorldWideWeb Tax, Inc. �. All Rights Reserved.

Tax Preparer Salary Guide

To be a successful tax preparation, you must be interested in arithmetic and economics, as well as understanding about laws and policy. Also necessary is an attention to detail, as tax preparers are responsible for assisting customers in saving money on their tax returns through the identification of deductions and the avoidance of high-cost penalties. Every year, thousands of Americans enlist the help of tax preparers to file their federal and state income taxes, so it’s no surprise that this profession is expected to develop at a rapid pace in the coming years.



When evaluating various career choices, the average wage for professionals in the industry is likely to be one of the most important considerations you make. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average pay for a tax preparation is $46,860 per year; however, this figure can grow if you get an extra degree and gain more work experience. Aside from that, businesses in cities with a higher cost of living prefer to give tax preparers a higher salary. SALARY DETERMINED BY EXPERIENCE The compensation of a tax preparer is determined by the number of years of experience they have.

Learn more about how tax preparers’ salaries differ depending on their years of expertise by looking at the chart below.

1 year $11.04 per hour
1-4 years $12.18 per hour
5-9 years $15.02 per hour
10-19 years $16.46 per hour

Top Online Programs

Examine programs that match your interests and are held to the highest quality standards while still providing the flexibility you need to advance your career.

Salary by Degree

The earning potential of a tax preparer can be increased even more by furthering your education with an accounting degree. But remember that acquiring an extra degree does not always imply that you will be offered a position in this profession. Furthermore, not every tax preparer holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Some tax preparers, for example, have a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a similar field.


Salary: $69,000 on average


Salary on the average: $91,000 Salary on the middle range: $91,000 SALARY OPTIONS FOR CAREER PATHS You will not discover a detailed plan that outlines all of the necessary procedures to take in order to become a professional tax preparer. In fact, once you have earned your degree, you may be able to choose from a variety of various career options. Take a look at the graphic below to discover more about how three alternative career options might affect your earnings potential.

Enrolled Agent $48,257
Accountant $50,706
Office Manager $46,894

$90,000 a year on average Salary: $91,000 on the average. SALARY OPTIONS ON THE WAY UP A particular plan revealing all of the necessary actions to take in order to become a professional tax preparer will not be found here.

Even after earning your degree, there may be a variety of options for you to pursue in the following years after graduation. To discover more about how three various career routes might affect your compensation, have a look at the graphic below.

What Are the Top States for Tax Preparer Pay?

Because the cost of living varies from region to region, where you reside has a significant impact on how much money you may make as a tax preparer in your area. Take a look at the graphic below to get a sense of which states have the highest concentration of tax preparers.

  • CALIFORNIA AVERAGE annual wage in TEXAS is $57.040
  • FLORIDA’s annual average wage is $39.020
  • NEW YORK’s annual average wage is $63.440
  • ILLINOIS’ annual average wage is $30,200
  • CALIFORNIA’s annual average wage is $57.040

Find out more about the certification of tax preparers. WHAT ARE THE HIGHEST-PAYING INDUSTRIES FOR TAX PREPARER COMPENSATION? Qualified tax preparers are required by virtually every sector that earns money. Check out this article to learn how the industry in which you choose to work might effect your future as a tax preparer. Here are the top five industries for tax preparers, along with the yearly mean salary for each of these businesses.

Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services $46,740
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $60,960
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $70,360
Nondepository Credit Intermediation $33,320
Management of Companies and Enterprises $60,680


Before committing to a job, it is important to analyze the historical evolution of that career. Projections Centralis a fantastic site for seeing statistics on the historical growth of occupations in every state, and it is free to use. Examine the locations of the United States that provide the most opportunities for tax preparers.

Future Career Growth

Projections Central also provides information on the expected rise in the number of tax preparers. On this page, you can see which states have had the most short- and long-term development in this sector. For example, Florida has a predicted growth rate for tax preparers that is greater than the national average, placing second in the country with 22.2 percent anticipated long-term growth. Comparing the job growth between one professional field and others is also an option to consider.

Top States for Job Growth

Even though employment growth for tax preparers is expected to expand across the country, analysts anticipate that it will increase more swiftly in some places than others in the United States. Take a look at the top five states that are expected to have the biggest percentage increase between now and 2026. If you are considering relocating to one of these states, you may be able to gain employment as a tax preparer more rapidly.

  • Tennessee saw a 40.5 percent change from 2016-2026
  • Utah experienced a 36.1 percent change from 2016-2026
  • And Nevada experienced a 25.4 percent change from 2016-2026. Florida has had a 22.2 percent change from 2016 to 2026
  • Texas has experienced a 20.4 percent change from 2016 to 2026.


Prior to pursuing a job as a tax preparation, consider a profession in one of the following fields: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’ve included comparable jobs below, along with projections for employment growth and median earnings. For reference, the typical tax preparer pay is $46,860, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this area will rise by 6 percent between 2018 and 2028. You can find all of the information you need on the following page.

Accountants:$70,500Budget Analyst:$76,220Financial Examiners:$80,180 Accountants:6% growth(2018-2028)Budget Analyst:4% growth(2018-2028)Financial Examiners:7% growth(2018-2028)




  • Labor Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has information on tax preparers and related occupations. Explore the website to learn about the responsibilities of a tax preparation, the possible income, and how earnings differ from one location to another. The website is a go-to resource for obtaining information about different professions. Examine the tax preparer page for simple-to-read visuals that may provide you with information on the typical wage, top employers, and work duties in the field. Projections CentralProjections Central provides substantial information on expected job growth in a wide range of occupations. There are short- and long-term estimates for the tax preparer career field and similar areas that you can look at. CESW is an acronym for the Center for Education and the Workforce. This useful website compiles information from 137 different college majors, as well as the average pay received by program alumni. To assess if a degree has a statistically significant beneficial influence on earnings, you can compare undergraduate and graduate degrees. O-Net (On-line Network) O-Net Online can assist you in discovering careers that are a good match for your interests and abilities. You may discover more about the usual tasks of a tax preparer as well as the abilities that are recommended. You can also find out how much the average tax preparer earns in this section.

How Much Do Accountants Charge for Tax Preparation?

When it comes to tax preparation, tax professionals determine their costs in a number of ways, which makes comparing apples to oranges a little difficult when seeking for the greatest value on tax preparation.

The complexity of your financial status and tax return, as a general rule, will drive up the cost of your insurance. Most of the time, those with really easy returns and tiny salaries are able to get the work done for nothing.

Pricing Methods Used by Tax Preparers

If you’re working with a tax expert or an accountant, you should inquire about how the business decides its charges up front to avoid any surprises. Ask for an estimate of how much their services would cost you; however, you are unlikely to receive a definite, final response until you have visited with the professional and they have gained a greater understanding of your tax status. Some accountants provide free consultations, so you may be able to acquire a response at the conclusion of your first appointment.

Because after all, if you were incredibly knowledgeable about tax concerns, you probably wouldn’t be looking for a professional’s assistance.

  • The payment of a fixed charge for each tax form or schedule
  • Fees are determined on the difficulty of the client’s circumstance. The amount of time spent preparing the tax return and any related forms and schedules is charged on an hourly basis. Services such as expediting returns, filing for an extension, or responding to IRS audits are subject to additional costs

Average Tax Preparation Fees

According to a poll conducted by the National Society of Accountants, if you itemized your deductions on your tax return in 2020, you would have paid an average of $323 in taxes. Be certain that this normally covers both your state and federal tax returns before you take a big sip of liquid courage. In the case of those who did not itemize their deductions, the average charge reduced to $220, which demonstrates just how intricate and time-consuming the process of itemizing your deductions can be.

To Itemize or Not to Itemize?

If you itemize your deductions rather than taking the standard deduction, you may not have to agonize over the option. When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) went into effect in 2018, it essentially doubled the standard deduction for all filing statuses (single, married filing separately, married filing jointly, and head of household), thereby doubling the standard deduction for everyone. If you’re married and filing a joint tax return for the 2021 tax year, or the return you’ll file in 2022, you’ll need more than $25,100 in itemized deductions to make itemizing profitable (the threshold rises to $25,900 in tax year 2022) to make itemizing worthwhile.

What Does the Tax Preparation Fee Include?

If you decide to hire a professional, make careful to find out exactly what is included in the charge. If you file electronically, do you have to pay an additional fee for each phone call and each office visit? Some companies, particularly franchise networks such as H R Block, impose an additional cost for audit protection, which is not required by law. You’re essentially putting money aside to cover any expenses you could incur if the Internal Revenue Service decides to scrutinize your tax filings further.

In the event that your tax return is audited, find out what is included in your original charge and what happens if the mistakes were made by the preparer and you were not at fault.

How to Negotiate a Fair Price

If you decide to hire a professional, be careful to inquire about what is included in the charge. If you file electronically, do they charge you more for each phone call and office visit? Several companies, particularly franchise chains such as H R Block, levy an additional fee to insulate themselves from audits. You’re essentially putting money aside to cover any expenses you could incur if the Internal Revenue Service decides to scrutinize your tax filings. In the event that your tax return is audited, find out what is included in the original charge and what happens if the mistakes were made by the preparer and you were not at fault.

Inappropriate Pricing Methods

A number of pricing methods are deemed unlawful and outlawed by the United States Department of the Treasury. Generally speaking, tax professionals are forbidden from collecting “an unconscionable price” for tax services, or from charging a fee on the basis of information contained in your tax return, unless the cost is specifically authorized by the IRS. One example is a charge that is dependent on a percentage of your tax refund, which is rather frequent. Tax preparers are likewise forbidden from collecting contingent fees, with the exception of a few restricted exceptions in particular cases.

Exorbitant expenses for tax preparation are a major red flag that should be avoided at all costs.

Selecting a tax preparer should only be done after thorough research.

In the event that you choose to work with a tax preparer, be careful to inquire as to how the costs were calculated if your invoice is significantly greater than you anticipated.

What to Do in the Event of Dispute

There will inevitably be disagreements between customers and tax professionals over the right fee for tax preparation services. In the event of a fee dispute, you are protected by Treasury Department laws. Even if you haven’t paid the cost, you are still entitled to obtain your original tax paperwork back from the accountant. Any forms, schedules, and other papers that an accountant has generated are their property; they are not required to send them over to you until they have been compensated.

You Have Other Options

If your tax situation isn’t too difficult, you may save a lot of money by using tax preparation software instead of hiring a tax professional. These applications, which have grown significantly over the years, are set up to ask you particular questions and then create your tax return depending on your answers and the data you provide into the software. For example, starting in January 2022, the H R Block basic tax software will be available for as little as $19.95 per year. TurboTax allows you to file a basic tax return for free, but if you want to optimize your deductions, you’ll need to purchase one of its products, which start at $39.

If your tax situation is very straightforward and basic, you may be able to have your return prepared and submitted for free through IRS Free File, subject to certain income restrictions.

The Free File website can direct you to the resources that are accessible.

As of March 2021, there were more than 7,350 volunteer program locations around the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Your tax preparation costs will be determined by a variety of factors, including the complexity of your financial position, the sort of preparer you choose to deal with, and where you reside (in regard to state taxes). In general, the more complicated your tax position is, the more you will have to pay in taxes. When it comes to tax preparers, you have the option of working with a certified public accountant (CPA), an attorney, or an enrolled agent, all of which will affect the cost.

Can I deduct tax preparation fees on my taxes?

Fees for tax preparation are no longer considered deductible expenses under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and are instead classified as miscellaneous expenses. The deduction for tax preparation expenses is still available to self-employed persons, though.

What do I bring to an accountant for tax preparation?

It is important to bring the relevant documents for income and deductions to your tax appointment in order to guarantee that your taxes are completed correctly. Don’t forget to bring your most recent tax return, all W-2s, 1099s, and other income documentation, as well as real estate records and invoices to support your deductions.

Hourly wage for Certified Tax Preparer

It is critical to provide the relevant documents for income and deductions in order to ensure that your taxes are completed properly. Don’t forget to bring your most recent tax return, all W-2s, 1099s, and other income papers, as well as real estate documentation and receipts to support your deductions.

This Year’s Tax Preparation Fees: What to Expect

In the event that you are one of the 80.5 million Americans who, according to the IRS, employ paid preparers to complete and file their electronic tax returns—or if you want to become one—you should know how much you can anticipate to pay in tax preparation costs during the current filing season.

Key Takeaways

  • The time of year when tax season arrives brings over 80 million Americans seeking professional assistance in preparing and completing their computerized tax returns. Tax accountants and online preparation services are available at a variety of price points, which may vary depending on the complexity and length of time required to complete a tax return. Also taken into consideration will be the amount of ability and knowledge possessed by the preparer, with CPAs and tax attorneys charging a higher base rate than seasonal employees or PTINs.

Variables That Affect Tax Preparation Fees

There is no set charge for preparing tax returns in the United States. Most tax preparers charge a set cost per return, but others may charge an hourly rate in addition to that. There are several variables that might influence how much you will be charged for this service.

  • This is the type of return. The sort of tax return you file has an impact on the amount you’ll have to spend for preparation. For preparing Form 1040 with Schedule A to itemize personal deductions, as well as a state income tax return, the National Society of Accountants estimates a flat fee of $323 in 2020
  • The average fee for Form 1040 with the standard deduction, as well as an income tax return for a state was $220 in 2020, according to the National Society of Accountants. The costs for adding schedules to your return rise as the number of itineraries increases. According to the IRS, the average extra charge for Schedule C for a sole proprietor/independent contractor was $192 on average. There was an extra charge of $118 for completing Schedule D, which is used to record capital gains and losses. Schedule E, which is used to record rental income and losses, came with an extra cost of $145. As a result, those who needed to file Schedules A, C, D, and E paid a total of $778 on average for their taxes. Many tax preparers raised their fees in 2020
  • Your location is one of them. Fees differ significantly from one region of the country to the next. People in the Southeastern United States pay the lowest rates, while those in New England and on the West Coast pay the highest. The expertise of the preparer is also a factor. The qualifications of the preparer (which will be discussed further below), as well as their expertise, have an influence on the costs that are paid. If you are looking for a certified public accountant (CPA), you will often pay more than an enrolled agent.

Determine Your Needs

Before you choose the person or company who will assist you, you must first determine what assistance you require.

  • Complexity. The more complicated your tax return is, the more you’ll have to spend in preparation fees. This is due to the fact that you will almost certainly require a more professional preparer. In the case of investments classified as passive activities, for example, the preparer’s fees may be higher because the preparer must make determinations (such as whether there has been a complete disposition of the activity that allows carried-over losses to be claimed in full) rather than simply fill in the numbers.
  • The amount of work. An individual with one rental property is unlikely to pay the same charge as someone with ten rental properties, each of which necessitates multiple entries on Schedule E for rental income and costs, including depreciation estimates. Situations that are unique. In some sorts of transactions, an individual may require additional time and expertise in order to properly prepare his or her tax returns. A “listed transaction,” which the Internal Revenue Service has designated as an abusive transaction (e.g., syndicated conservation easements for claiming high charitable deductions), necessitates the use of another form in order to disclose it on the tax return as required by law
  • The tax preparer may also provide advice on what to do with the investment in the future

Select the Best Preparer for You

After taking into consideration your tax-preparation requirements, you should consider the sort of preparer who can accomplish those requirements on your behalf. Your options for a paid preparer include the following:

  • Attorney: a person who is authorized to practice law by the state courts or state bars. Some may hold a doctorate in taxes from a prestigious law institution. Working with an attorney provides you with the protection of attorney-client confidentiality for any subjects addressed. A certified public accountant (CPA) is a person who has passed the Uniform CPA test and has been granted the right to practice as a certified public accountant. A certified public accountant (CPA) may specialize in tax preparation and planning. Person who has passed the Special Enrollment Examination and has completed continuing education courses is referred to be an enrolled agent. An enrolled agent, like attorneys and certified public accountants, has unrestricted representation privileges before the Internal Revenue Service. Individuals who have completed the IRS’s Annual Filing Season Program but are not attorneys, certified public accountants, or registered agents are considered annual filing season program participants. Such a person has only limited representation rights before the Internal Revenue Service. An individual who does not fall into any of the categories listed above but who has received a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) in order to file tax returns this filing season
  • They have limited representation rights before the Internal Revenue Service.

The Bottom Line

The Internal Revenue Service provides advice on selecting a tax preparer. Through the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers, you may verify a preparer’s qualifications, including whether or not they have a valid PTIN for the current filing season. Before you agree to deal with a tax preparation, request a written estimate of the costs you will be expected to pay. The cost of a tax return preparer’s services should not be the sole consideration in determining who to use. However, it is a significant element to consider.

Tax Preparation Fees: What’s The Average Cost of Tax Preparation?

What should the cost of tax preparation be for you this year? The average cost of tax preparation varies depending on your region, the complexity of your return, and the type of preparer or service you choose. Our articles, research studies, tools, and reviews are written with rigorous editorial integrity in mind; but, we may get compensation if you click on or accept an offer from one of our partner companies. However, while the year 2022 will continue to bring more COVID uncertainty, other things will stay consistent, such as the necessity to file income tax returns by the filing date in April.

However, just because you must submit your taxes does not imply that you must also complete your taxes. You may save time and money by hiring a tax professional to handle your taxes for you. Calculate Your Savings Goals

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Taxes Done?

As a first-time tax preparer, you may be thinking, “How much does it cost to have your taxes done by a professional?” If this is your first time, you may also be wondering, “How much does it cost to have your taxes done by a professional?” And the answer is that it is dependent on the situation. In the end, it all boils down to how much effort you put into preparing your tax returns. The average cost of tax preparation is determined by three factors: What level of organization do you have with your taxes?

How complex do you find your taxes to be?

Organization matters

Bringing a shoebox full of paperwork, receipts, and random statements to your tax preparation session will require you to pay an hourly cost for a preparer to arrange and total up your stuff. This might result in hundreds of dollars in additional expenses.

Location matters

Your geographical location is also important. Because other jurisdictions do not have an income tax, filing is plainly less expensive in such states. Taxpayers who get income from many states will, without a doubt, have to pay more in filing fees. In addition, the expense of having your tax return done in a larger city may be higher. As reported by the National Association of Tax Professionals, the national average hourly rate in 2021 was as follows:

  • $164 per hour for villages with less than 10,000 persons
  • $189 per hour for towns with 10,000 – 50,000 residents
  • And $209 per hour for cities with more than 50,000 residents
  • And

Complexity matters

Finally, the complexity of your tax return has an influence on the cost of tax preparation. Forms are normally charged by the form, whereas hours are often charged by the hour, or some mix of the two – for example, you may pay an hourly fee for sorting your shoebox full of receipts, plus additional costs for your tax forms. Taking the standard deduction without taking advantage of any extra schedules or tax credits will result in you paying less than the average cost if you are a salaried employee.

Tax Preparation Options

How much does it cost to submit your taxes in the United States? For any tax scenario, there is a wide choice of services and pricing ranges to consider. They are, in descending order of cost, as follows:

  • There are several free DIY choices available, including paper forms (which may be obtained at the library or post office) and fillable forms at The IRS’sVITA program provides free tax preparation services to taxpayers who earn $58,000 or less, are 60 or older, are handicapped, or have poor English-language proficiency. A large number of online tax software vendors provide free preparation services to taxpayers who have basic returns to file. Make sure to double-check before committing, as some tax preparation services charge a cost to submit the return, and others demand a significant amount to prepare and file a state return. In a large number of instances. The “free” option provided by one provider is more expensive in the long run than the “paid” one provided by another service. Anyone who has a tax situation that isn’t too complicated may file for free with Credit Karma. They just have to be ready for the firm to utilize their private information for marketing purposes in exchange for their permission. Tax software or online subscription services offer a less expensive option to full-service professional tax preparation than traditional tax preparation firms. Some luxury online providers also allow access to human preparers for an extra price
  • Others do not. Several full-service tax preparation companies, such as Liberty, Jackson Hewitt, and H R Block, employ tax accountants
  • However, the vast majority of their preparers are seasonal employees who have completed required training hours and passed a test, as well as (where required) complied with state licensing requirements for tax preparers. Specialized tax accountants, Certified Financial Planners (CFPs), and Enrolled Agents (EAs) are those that specialize in tax planning and preparation for individuals who have more complex financial situations. If you’re self-employed or involved in limited liability firms, partnerships, or corporate ownership, you could benefit from this additional layer of knowledge and experience. In addition, if your assets are intricate, this may be true. Tax attorneys and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) provide tax planning and preparation services for corporations, non-profit organizations, and individuals in the most complicated situations.

Tax attorneys, CPAs, and estate planning attorneys are all permitted to represent you in tax court.

Average Tax Preparation Fees

When it comes to tax preparation, how much should you expect to pay? Because every circumstance is unique, the average tax preparation expenses have little bearing on what you’ll spend in the end. According to the National Society of Accountants, the cost of professional tax preparation varies depending on your circumstances.If you choose to use software and do your own taxes, software and subscription services range from free to about $200 if you buy a premium service with an optional professional review.easy It’s to get quotes from chain preparation centers because they typically maintain a schedule of appointments.

If you want to discover how much H R Block charges to prepare taxes, you must go to the office and inquire. They do not post a cost structure for tax preparation services on their website.

How Do Tax Advisors Set Their Prices?

There are a variety of strategies that tax professionals employ to determine their fees. They are, in descending order of frequency, as follows:

  • Minimum cost + an extra fee dependent on the difficulty of the return (44 percent of returns are processed using this technique, with an average minimum fee of $172). Set a fee per form and schedule (this method is used by 39 percent of the population, and the average charge for a Form 1040 in 2019 was $131, Schedule A was $41, Schedule C was $84, Schedule D was $38 and Schedule E was $59)
  • Set a fee per form and schedule (this method is used by 39 percent of the population, and the average charge for a Form 1040 in 2019 was $131, Schedule A was $41, Schedule C was $84, Schedule D was $38 and Schedule E was Hourly rate (this technique is used by 7 percent of the workforce, and the average hourly wage in 2019 was $138)

It is also dependent on the provider’s classification that the average charge is determined. A seasonal employee produced a Form 1040 for an average price of $113 in 2019, although the average CPA charged $162 in that same year. CFPs ($136), estate planners ($140), and tax attorneys ($145) occupy a midway ground between the two extremes. The Treasury Department of the United States does not permit certain pricing schemes. According to the Internal Revenue Code, tax experts are not permitted to charge “an unconscionable price” for their services, nor may they impose tax preparation costs based on the information included in your tax return, such as a percentage of your tax refund.

Where Can You Find a Trustworthy Tax Advisor?

The Internal Revenue Service has a database that you may use to verify the credentials of a tax preparer. Tax return preparers who now possess professional credentials recognized by the Internal Revenue Service are included in the Internal Revenue Service’s Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. You may also look into the professional organizations to which a large number of tax preparers are members. In addition, Consumer Reports suggests that you select a tax preparer who provides the following benefits to you:

  • A minimum of seven years of relevant experience
  • An office that is open throughout the year
  • A customer base that is comparable to yours. In the case of a small business, you should consult with a small business tax service.

Advantages of Hiring a Tax Professional

According to the Internal Revenue Service, around 60% of Americans choose professional tax preparation over do-it-yourself options. The following are the four most important reasons behind this:

Human interaction

When it comes to dealing with money, taxes, and the government, many people prefer to collaborate with another person. This is most likely due to the fact that such things aren’t exactly warm and cuddly, and they might be daunting, especially when the situation is difficult to comprehend.

Year-round advice

Tax preparation is only a portion of the overall package. Professionals can assist you in responding to information requests from the Internal Revenue Service, negotiating payment choices if you owe more than you anticipated, and developing a tax strategy to reduce your tax liability in the future.

IRS help

If you get into difficulty with the IRS, you can hire a tax attorney, a CPA, or an estate planning counsel to defend you in tax court. Services from H R Block and other companies range from explaining how your returns were produced to accompanying you to an audit to guaranteed services that cover any fines or penalties incurred as a result of any mistakes in preparation. When you consider how costly certain tax errors may be, many consumers appreciate the peace of mind that comes with expert tax preparation services.

Time savings

Tax preparers deal with tax returns at all hours of the day, every day of the year. It’s something you have to do once a year, and the time it takes to master all of the revisions and paperwork may be considerable. Tax specialists are more efficient than the average person and may save you a significant amount of time.

However, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of paying someone else to do their taxes. If you’re a dedicated do-it-yourselfer who is experienced with tax preparation software, you may do your taxes in an evening or over the weekend and avoid paying the costs.

Advantages of Online Tax Preparation

Even though self-filers are a small minority, they are a large minority, accounting for around 40% of the population. Many people choose to do their own taxes since it is faster, less expensive, and more private. The following are some of the benefits of online tax preparation:


It is possible to prepare and submit your taxes for free or at a very minimal cost using various highly rated online subscription services or software items that can be downloaded to your computer.


According to the IRS, electing to e-file and have their returns instantly deposited into their bank accounts allows eight out of ten taxpayers to get their tax refunds sooner than they would otherwise. Furthermore, you will not be required to gather your papers, schedule an appointment, drive to an office, sit through an interview, and then return to the office to examine and pay for your return as you would otherwise. All you have to do is download your software, complete your tax return, and submit it online.


In most online services, you may either fill the forms directly or go through an interview style, in which you answer questions and enable the software to populate the tax return with information. As a result, you are under no obligation to speak with a human about your money if you do not choose to. Savings account rates should be compared.

How to Save Money on Tax Preparation Fees

There are a few methods to save money on your taxes, no matter which method you use.

  1. Prepare your documentation. Separate your spending from your revenue, as well as your receipts and statements, among other things. Receipts can be thrown into clear plastic bags that have been labeled throughout the year. Add them all together and fasten the tape to each bag so that the preparer just has to complete in the necessary blanks
  2. Prepare by conducting research. Request a few quotations from trustworthy companies to ensure that you’re receiving a fair rate. Don’t overpay for tax preparation services when a straightforward return may be eligible for free preparation from VITA or at the very least a discounted fee from a chain preparation business. A tax attorney is usually not necessary for a basic 1040 without itemizing or additional schedules
  3. But, if you do itemize or have extra schedules, you should consult one. Consult with your tax preparer about discounts and promotions. According to the Association of Tax Professionals, 86 percent of preparers provide a free consultation for potential clients and/or one of the following discounts:
  • Members of a tax preparer’s family or friends
  • Family members or dependents of a client’s student or senior citizens new clients returning customers advertised coupon
  • Discount for a past service error
  • Filing before a specific date charities or non-profits
  • Pro bono work
  • Vocation or affiliation (veteran, clergy, police officer, etc.)

Frequently Asked Questions

The previous several years, I’ve attempted to do my own taxes and I don’t believe I’ve received as much money back as I should have. Should I seek the assistance of a tax professional the next time around? As each year brings a few more adjustments to the tax code, taxes tend to get increasingly confusing over time. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) emphasizes that while e-filing can identify many frequent errors automatically, it will not necessarily assist you in making all of the appropriate decisions regarding your taxes.

Here are some things to think about while evaluating whether or not this is a good idea for you:

  1. What level of complexity does your unique tax situation have? If your assets are confined to plain vanillasavings accounts, tax preparation may be a straightforward process
  2. However, if you have more exotic investments such as real estate holdings or options, it may be more beneficial to consult with a tax specialist. Additionally, if you have many deductions, this may be the situation. In order to hire a tax preparation company, you would have to pay a fee. Take the time to compare quotes on this
  3. Browse around for the best deal. What is the monetary value of your time? It’s not simply the outcome of your tax return that’s at stake
  4. It’s also the amount of time you’ll have to devote to doing your taxes on your own timetable. Maybe you’ll come to the conclusion that the money you’re saving is not worth the effort you’re putting in
  5. What is your level of familiarity with tax regulations? It’s not only a matter of making sure you don’t overspend in this situation. It is also critical to prevent making mistakes that might result in you being subjected to fines and penalties
  6. Otherwise,

If you do not receive a significant amount of money returned, this does not necessarily indicate that your taxes have been prepared incorrectly. It might just be a hint that your withholding is set at a level that is effective for you. In fact, many individuals believe that receiving a refund is a bad omen since it indicates that they withheld too much money from their taxes and that they might have been making money on that interest in the interim. Due to the low levels of savings and money market rates, this is less of a huge concern than it used to be, as previously stated.

It could make sense for you to begin with one of those evaluations in order to determine whether or not paying for tax preparation is going to be cost-effective in your situation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *