Green Key Blog

News for the way you work

More Taxpayers Turning to Professional Preparers

February 9th, 2015
The IRS said last week that early tax filing is already ahead of last year. More IRS logothan 14 million tax returns were filed by the end of January, all but about 1 million were submitted electronically.

The volume is 26% ahead of 2013.  The average refund is $3,539, the IRS said, with 96% of the refunds paid through direct deposit.

“We encourage taxpayers to e-file their returns since it is the quickest, safest and most accurate way to file and the fastest way to get a refund,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement. “We also urge taxpayers to take advantage of the many online resources available through our web site.”

Tax professionals prepared 44% of the returns filed electronically, an increase of 39% over last year. Self-prepared returns, most of them using one of the commercial tax programs available at office supply stores and consumer warehouses, increased 20% over 2013.

Why more taxpayers are turning to professionals isn't clear. It may be that with the improving economy, taxpayers have more complex financial transactions involving investments and 401(k) disbursements, as well as greater income and are therefore seeking to maximize deductions.

The recent controversy over Intuit's changes to its popular TurboTax software may have prompted some do-it-yourselfers to seek out tax preparers. Some storefront tax services will prepare and file personal returns for only slightly more than the cost of buying a program.

Now, Intuit is involved in yet another bit of negative publicity after several states stopped accepting e-filings from TurboTax programs amidst fears of
identity theft and fraud tied to their use. Last week Intuit suspended its filing of state returns while it investigated reports of fraudulent returns.  A day later, the company turned the service back on, insisting the fraud was not the result of security problems with its service, but the result of criminals using information found elsewhere.

Leave a Reply

comments powered by Disqus