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Estimated Average Preparation Times and Out-of-Pocket Expenses by Return Preparation Method

The average time and expenses required to complete and file Form 1040, its schedules, and accompanying forms will vary depending on individual circumstances.  

The estimated averages are:

Taxpayer and Form Combinations for Form 1040 Filers Self-Prepared Without Tax Software Self-Prepared With Tax Software Prepared by Other Paid Professionals Laser 1040
Hours╣ Costs Hours╣ Costs Hours╣ Costs╣ Hours Costs
Nonbusiness Filers * 16.1 $17 21.8 $42 10.9 $172 1/2 $55
      Form 1040 and other forms and schedules, but not Schedule A or D 13.7 $13 15.9 $26 7.6 $121 3/4 $75
     Form 1040, Schedule A, and other forms and schedules, but not Schedule D 16.7 $18 22.7 $51 12.1 $174 3/4 $100
  Form 1040, Schedule D, and other forms and schedules, but not Schedule A 17.5 $30 18.3 $36 12.8 $215 1 $100
  Form 1040, Schedules A and D, and other forms and schedules 27.5 $18 37.8 $63 18.0 $313 1 $150
* You are a "business" filer if you file one ore more of the following with your Form 1040: Schedule C, C-EZ, E, or F or Form 2106 or 2106-EZ.  You are a "nonbusiness" filer if you did not file any of those schedules or forms with your Form 1040.
╣ Estimates based on IRS tax information.

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