How Much Are Tax Preparers Charging?

The National Society of Accountants surveyed its members to determine average tax-return preparation fees by form and by region. The group has 11,000 members, most of whom are sole practitioners or work at smaller firms. They have various credentials, including CPA, IRS enrolled agent and accredited tax preparer.

According to the survey, the average cost to prepare an itemized Form 1040 with a Schedule A (for itemized deductions) and a state tax return is $273. The average rate for a return without itemized deductions is lower at $159. 

The survey also reported the average fees for preparing other IRS forms, including the following:

  • $174 for a Form 1040 Schedule C (business)
  • $643 for a Form 1065 (partnership)
  • $817 for a Form 1120 (corporation)
  • $778 for a Form 1120S (S corporation)
  • $457 for a Form 1041 (fiduciary)
  • $688 for a Form 990 (tax exempt)
  • $68 for a Form 940 (Federal unemployment)
  • $115 for Schedule D (gains and losses)
  • $126 for Schedule E (rental)
  • $158 for Schedule F (farm)

The survey also found that tax-preparation fees varied by region, firm size, population, and an area’s economic strength. Here is the average fee for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return in different U.S. census districts:

  • New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) – $246
  • Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) – $314
  • South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) – $268
  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) – $262
  • West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) – $205
  • East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) – $240
  • West North Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) – $198
  • Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY) – $256
  • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) – $348

All fees assume that a taxpayer has gathered and organized necessary information and provides it to the preparer on time. The average fee to file an extension is $42, though that figure rises to $88 if information isn’t submitted at least 15 days ahead of a filing deadline.