Individual Tax Filings Still Lag Behind 2016

Chart of IRS data for week ending March 17, 2017
Data for week ending March 17, 2017 [Click for larger image]
More e-filings handled by pros, but not by a large margin.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

How much difference can four days make? Or are there other issues?

MORE ON TAX SEASON: Five Ways to Protect Clients from ‘The Sleazy Six’ Tax Season Scams | Four Common Errors in Form 1098-T | Taxes: Beyond Income to Gas and More | Readers Sound Off: What Tax Season Decline? | Five-Point Action Plan for Turning Tax Scam Threats into New Opportunities | Liberty Tax Earnings Down 48% | H&R Block Lagging Behind Last Year
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Most 1040 data remains on a downturn from 2016, with only refund amounts edging barely into positive territory.
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Readers Sound Off: What Tax Season Decline?

Some are busier than ever, while others report a change in clientele.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

Our recent story, Tax Season Half Over but No One Is Celebrating, seemed to have some readers scratching their heads.

MORE ON TAX SEASON: Five-Point Action Plan for Turning Tax Scam Threats into New Opportunities | Liberty Tax Earnings Down 48% | H&R Block Lagging Behind Last Year | Tax Pros Filing Only 51% of E-Returns | Tax Refunds Up Slightly | Tax Filings Data Looking Less Squirrely | Tax Return Filings Still Lag, But Pros Hold 57% of Market | Tax Filings Down, but IRS Blames the Calendar
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Join the Busy Season Outlook Survey. Get the Results.

Filing statistics are down, according to the IRS (which should know).
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Tax Season Half Over but No One Is Celebrating

Office worker spraying silly string on colleaguePros are gaining ground in e-filings.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

We’re halfway through tax season! Woohoo, blow the party horns!

MORE TAX SEASON DATA: Tax Pros Filing Only 51% of E-Returns | Tax Refunds Up Slightly | Tax Filings Data Looking Less Squirrely | Tax Return Filings Still Lag, But Pros Hold 57% of Market | Tax Filings Down, but IRS Blames the Calendar
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Where’s your horn? You don’t seem to be celebrating. What up, dog?

Filing statistics are down, and some of you aren’t shy about suggesting why.
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Tax & Accounting Industry Shows Signs of Slowdown

Join the survey. Get the results.

CPA firms, payroll among brighter spots.

Who's Hiring, Who's Not?
Join the survey. Get the reasons.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

Accounting employment in most sectors is on the upswing, but the hikes that sometimes reached into the double digits in 2016 appear to be leveling off, even after adjusting for busy season differences, according to a new CPA Trendlines analysis.

MORE ON JOBS: ANALYSIS: Global Tax Talent Shortage Mounting into ‘Perfect Storm’ | Accountants without Borders: Tight Talent Pool Drives Salary Increases Nationwide | New Staffing Strategies for the Next-Generation Accounting Firm

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Gains over 5 percent were seen only in the number of women working in payroll services.

In this report, CPA Trendlines highlights:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, payroll, tax and CPA segments of the industry.
  • Average hourly wages for key segments
  • Typical hours worked per week
  • Trends concerning women in the accounting workforce

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Tax Pro E-Filing Down 10%

Chart of IRS filing data
[Click for larger image]
Refunds are the only figure tracking higher this year.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

The e-filing margin between tax professionals and self-preparers is narrowing. Still, the pace of e-filing by tax professionals is running 10% behind the same time last year.

MORE TAX SEASON DATA: Tax Refunds Up Slightly | Tax Filings Data Looking Less Squirrely | Tax Return Filings Still Lag, But Pros Hold 57% of Market | Tax Filings Down, but IRS Blames the Calendar
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As of March 3, the IRS had received 61.1 million individual income tax returns, down 8.5 percent from the same period last year, although 2017 has had four fewer processing days so we’re comparing oranges to tangerines.
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