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How Much Did You Pay to Prepare Your Taxes?

Julie Vlahon of Techbargains sent me a survey [3] they did about a month ago asking their visitors how much they spent preparing their tax returns. For the folks who already filed, they asked how much they paid. For those who hadn’t, they simply asked them how much they expected to pay. According to their results, procrastinators (those who would file in April) expected to pay $160.56 versus $106.20 for those who filed them earlier.

If you expect to pay $160.56 then you probably aren’t using tax prep software. Turbotax’s most expensive package is the Home & Business at $99.99. If you add one state, that’s $39.99, for a total of $139.98. I’d be curious to know if procrastinators had side businesses or something like that. Prices really increase when you start adding in different states and crazy schedules.

That said, another result they had was that 9 out of the 10 early filers expected a return – that is not surprising. The average tax refund [4] is always around three thousand dollars. If someone owed me three grand, I’d get it as soon as possible!

I’m not surprised procrastinators pay more. It’s not that they pay fees or penalties because they are preparing in April, it’s that their tax situations are more complicated. They take longer to prepare, chances are they owe a little bit of tax, so there’s no benefit to filing early. If you’re still waiting to do your taxes, these tax tips for procrastinators [5] might be helpful – it’s written by my friend Linsey from Wise Bread [6] with tips from my favorite tax expert, Kay Bell of Don’t Mess with Taxes [7] and Bankrate.

How much did you pay to do your taxes this year? Did you file early or late? Why?

(Photo: doncav [8])