Depending on the complexity of your personal situation, hiring a tax professional can be a pricey prospect. A 2014 survey conducted by the National Society of Accountants (NSA) revealed $273 to be the average cost of a professionally prepared tax return (state return plus a 1040 including itemized deductions). The stat dropped to the neighborhood of $159 if only a 1040 Form (sans deductions) was required [source: Rickard].
By comparison, do-it-yourself tax preparation services are much cheaper. The simplest returns can often be filed for free. About 70 percent of taxpayers qualify for the Free File program, by which people can electronically file taxes at no cost using certain government-approved companies. To do this, your income must be no more than $60,000 per year [source: IRS]. If your income is higher than that — or if your return is too complicated for the free options — there are numerous services to choose from that will run you from roughly $15 to $40, depending on the service and exactly which forms you need to file.