How long does it typically take a CPA to process/file your taxes?

How long does it typically take a CPA to process/file your taxes?
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I’ve been thinking about hiring a professional (in the past, I’ve just used TurboTax). I know the cost will be higher, but I’m ok with that for better service and a larger return. My question is: how long does it typically take a professional to process an individual tax filing? I’m single income, but employed across multiple states last year. No home or mortgage.


It really depends. For instance, in my office, how soon you got your return back would all depend on the time of year that you gave me your information. For instance, if you were given to me now, I could probably have back to you in less than a week. Now if you were to wait, until the really busy times (i.e. first two weeks of March, or the first two weeks of April) . It could take longer.

Hope that helps


The favorite go-to phrase for all tax professionals is: "It depends". Worn out - but true.

Time to prepare depends in part on complexity. The facts you present seem simple on their face: Income from wages in multiple states, no deductions for home mortgage interest or taxes. But how many states, and what was the pattern of work? 30 states for four days each (think pro basketball) is a whole different deal from 2 states for six months each.

Time to prepare also depends on how thorough a job you do in gathering supporting documents and information. Get me everything at once and I can prepare a lot faster than if we trade things back and forth for weeks. And late revisions to brokerage reporting forms can make all of us grind our teeth when they arrive on April 10th.

I work first-in, first-out; the first one in with all facts and forms gets out the door first. Others may take different approaches. Some preparers will do a return while you wait. That may work for the very simplest of returns, but I know I prefer to let the completed return cool down for a day or so and then give it a final review in the fresh light of dawn. 

So how long? I'd hope to get your return done in a few days to week in the mid-season. 


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