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More taxpayers turning to tax pros

When the IRS announced its new initiative to oversee paid tax preparers, it noted that more than 80 percent of American households use a tax professional or tax software to help them prepare and file their taxes.

Uncle Sam's numbers are consistent with a new taxpayer survey that found most filers this year plan to get help, either from a paid tax preparer (33 percent) or from a CPA (24 percent).

The poll, conducted by by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of H&R Block, also found that another 15 percent will get tax-filing help from a family member or a friend. Only a quarter of us plan to do our taxes ourselves.

Income_tax_frustrastion (2) It's no secret why we seek help at tax time.

The tax laws change every year and even when they offer us savings, the actual process of claiming them is sometimes more trouble than it's worth.

Some taxpayers even admit to forgoing benefits just to avoid the hassle. While that might incrementally help the U.S. Treasury, it's not how the system should work.

The Ipsos/Block inquiry found that most of those questioned were confused about at least one area of taxes that could affect their filings.

So even taking into account that the poll was paid for by a tax preparation firm, it's hard to disagree with the survey's statement that "perhaps it is wise that many plan to seek professional help with their tax returns."

Need a job? Become an accountant: Continual tax code confusion also is one reason that the accounting field is expected to be the brightest employment star over the next few years.

The 2010-11 edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor, says that job growth for accountants and auditors should be around 22 percent through 2018.

That rate is much faster than the average for all occupations. And, say government labor analysts, the employment prospects are even better for CPAs. (Thanks to CPA Trendlines for the tip.)

You can read more about tax-driven employment prospects in my blog Eye on the IRS.

And if you're looking for a tax professional right now, you'll find some tips in Picking a tax pro.

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Rick Telberg

Thanks for the shout out. I'm one of your biggest fans.


It is definitely a hassle especially when you are not updated with current tax rules. There are affordable tax services/software out there that can make filing easier and faster.

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