Tax Return Filings Still Lag, But Pros Hold 57% of Market

Chart of IRS filing data for the week ended Feb. 3, 2017
[Click for larger image]
Four days fewer in 2017 still skewing statistics.

The IRS continues to churn back tax returns nearly as quickly as it receives them, while the percentage that were self-prepared is tracking higher than the same point last year.

MORE: Tax Filings Down, but IRS Blames the Calendar | SURVEY RESULTS: Bullish on Busy Season 2017 | 2017 FEE SURVEY: Price for Non-Itemized 1040s Advances 6% to $176
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

With 20.18 million returns received as of Feb. 3, the latest data available, the agency had processed 19.97 million or 98.9 percent of them.
READ MORE →

Tax Filings Down, but IRS Blames the Calendar

Chart of tax filing data for week ending Jan. 27
[Click for larger image]
Tax pros make up 38% of e-filings.

Next Question: How's Tax Season So Far?
Join the Survey; Get the Results

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

It’s a shiny new tax season, and that means more shiny new filing data from the IRS.

MORE TAX SEASON 2017: FREE INSTANT DOWNLOAD: Sample fee schedule for 1040s   |   Tax Filings Down, but IRS Blames the Calendar   |   Survey Results: Busy Season 2017 Gets Off to Strong Start   |   2017 FEE SURVEY: Price for Non-Itemized 1040s Advances 6% to $176   |   The Annual Tax Meeting is Dead. Clients Killed It.   |   Reader Sound-Off: Mandatory Saturdays Stir Controversy

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Of course, since it comes from the IRS, it also has its own set of footnotes and qualifiers. For one, even though we’re comparing the week ending Jan. 27, 2017, with the week ending Jan. 29, 2016, the 2016 figure included four more days of tax return processing – although when comparing identical numbers of days, 2017 marks an increase. For another, the new law requiring a hold on refunds involving the Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit until Feb. 15 is skewing early season refund numbers and dollar amounts, because many taxpayers claiming these credits are early filers. READ MORE →

Reader Sound-Off: Mandatory Saturdays Stir Controversy

Commenting on “mandatory Saturdays,” clockwise from top left: Stitely, Boress, Michel, Evarts

Is it work-life balance, or firm-employee balance?

Sound-Off: Does your firm mandate Saturdays?
Join the conversation here.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

Tax season has yet to start and already tempers are flaring in the CPA Trendlines Comments section as practitioners debate requiring staffers to work on Saturdays during busy season.

MORE ON STAFFING: Making Flex Time Work in the Real World | Guidelines for Flexible Work Policies | Do Flexible Hours Help or Hurt Us? | SURVEY: 97% of Leading Firms Now Offer Flexible Work Arrangements | The 12 Reasons Your Staff Hates Your Firm | Staffing: What CPA Firms Are Learning the Hard Way

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

In "How to Make Mandatory Saturdays a Thing of the Past," CPA Trendlines contributor Jennifer Wilson says the "cool firms" are eliminating the age-old practice nd replacing it with flex-time, work-at-home, and results-oriented strategies. Still, she says, "I literally hear a gasp of surprise because it challenges one of the most fundamental elements of public accounting – tracking, measuring and valuing time."

READ MORE →