Finding a Way Around the Obvious

Ah, the wonderful world of press releases. They come in a variety of formats with varying messages.

One of my recent favorites is the National Society of Accountants offering that "tax preparation fees are a strong value." I’m not arguing with the assertion (my days of trying to decipher to complicated tax rules and regulations ended years ago), but my first thought was: "Duh! What else would this group say?"

I don’t have an immediate answer, but there must be a way to share the information without the Mr. Obvious approach. Again, no problem with the premise; just not sure how effective it will be for the group. Anyway, here’s a few of the numbers they provided:

A biennial survey of nearly 8,000 tax preparers conducted by the National Society of Accountants (NSA) showed the average tax preparation fee for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return is only $233. Rates for non-itemized returns are also low – the average cost to prepare a Form 1040 and state return without itemized deductions is only $128.
Both average fees are nearly the same as they were two years ago ($229 and $129 respectively), showing that tax preparers and accountants understand the financial challenges that Americans face.
"This is one of the best values out there for any type of professional service," says NSA Executive Vice President John Ams, "especially when you consider the complexity of the tax code. If a professional finds even one additional deduction or tax credit, it will probably more than cover the fee."
The survey also reported the average fees for preparing other Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms, including:

• $236 for a Form 1040 Schedule C (profit or loss from business)
• $524 for a Form 1065 (partnership)
• $695 for a Form 1120 (corporation)
• $660 for a Form 1120S (S corporation)
• $396 for a Form 1041 (fiduciary)
• $566 for a Form 990 (tax exempt)
• $61 for a Form 940 (Federal unemployment)