Apr 29, 2024

Question of the Day: How much does the average tax payer spend to file a return using tax software or a tax preparer?

We have a civic duty to pay our taxes. But should we have to pay to pay our taxes? 

Answer: More than $200/year

A person holding a phone whose web browser is looking at the IRS's free tax filing website


  • Why might some taxpayers choose to pay for tax preparation services even if free options are available?
  • The IRS piloted a free tax filing program. What are some reasons the government would offer a service like this?
  • If you had to decide whether to use a free service or a paid tax preparer, what factors would you consider in making your decision?


Here are the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (Washington Post): 

"The Biden administration announced Friday that its first-of-its-kind free tax filing website came in under budget and earned high marks from users, and that officials will decide this spring whether to renew the experimental program for another tax season.

The software, which resembles commercial offerings from companies like Intuit and H&R Block, allows taxpayers to file directly to the government free. Experts say a nationwide rollout could someday disrupt the multibillion-dollar tax preparation industry; Americans spend more than $200 a year, on average, to file a return using software or a tax preparer."


Teach your students how to file the 1040 using NGPF's Activity, CALCULATE: Completing a 1040


What's the most popular unit on the NGPF website and the most searched for term? It's Taxes! Find all the resources that NGPF has on Taxes here

About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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