Up-to-the-minute advice, information, resources, and, on occasion, commentary on federal and New Jersey state income taxes, and the various New Jersey property tax rebate programs, and insights and observations on tax policy and professional tax practice, by 40-year veteran tax professional Robert D Flach.
Friday, November 4, 2016
THE COST OF A 1040
Here are some of the results of a recent study of the
cost of having your tax return prepared done by the National Association of Tax
The survey was
administered electronically to about 11,000 tax
50% stratified random sample of NATP’s membership population”. A
total of 1,604 participants completed the survey for an overall response rate
(1) The national average cost for preparing a basic
Form 1040, with no additional forms or schedules, is $114.00.
(2) The preparation fee varies based on the “credential”,
or lack thereof, of the preparer.The
average fee (again for a basic 1040 with no additional forms or schedules) charged
by an “unenrolled” preparer is about $100.00.The highest average fee is, no surprise here, is charged by a CPA – $169.30
(170% of the fee charged by the “unenrolled” preparer).The average fee charged by a CPA is actually
$8.00 more than the fee charged by an attorney.FYI - the average fee charged by an Enrolled Agent is $122.84 (123.4% of
that charged by the “unenrolled”).
I doubt very much that the quality of preparation and
service and competency of the preparer and return provided to the client by a
CPA preparer is 170% that of the quality and competence provided by the average
unenrolled preparer.If you ask me it is
reversed – the quality and competence of the unenrolled preparer is 170% that
of the overall quality and competence of the CPA preparer.
(3) The preparation fee also varies based on where you
live. The average fee for the basic Form 1040 for my clients in New Jersey and
New York is $115.54.It is $113.86 for
PA taxpayers, as well as those who live in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West
Virginia, and Washington DC.
The highest average fee - $135.21 – is charged by
prepared in California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Arizona.And you will be charged the lowest average
fee - $97.79 – if you live in Colorado, Montane, North or South Dakota, and
How much are you paying?
The complete survey is available free to all NATP
members.If you are a tax preparer and
you do not belong to NATP please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
with “NATP Membership Info” in the subject line and I will send you membership
Also – I have prepared a compilation of my thoughts on
various issues of importance to the tax professional community.If you are a tax pro and would like a copy,
which is provided free as a pdf email attachment, email me with “IF YOU ASK ME”
in the subject line and I will send it to you.