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Average tax prep costs $246, but Marylanders can get it for free

Internal Revenue Service

The National Society of Accountants says tax preparers on average charge $246 nationwide to fill out an itemized form 1040 with a Schedule A and a state tax return.

Fees differed around the country, though. In Maryland, the average fee for that work is $253.

The most expensive region to get an itemized return prepared — at an average of $288 — is the Pacific, which includes California, Alaska and Hawaii. Cheapest, at $196, is West North Central that includes Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

The average fee to get those documents prepared in Maryland is $253. But there are plenty of places in the state that provides free-tax preparation for low- to moderate income households. Even the state offers free tax prep on its returns, regardless of income.

To find out where you can get free tax assistance in Maryland, check out 211-Maryland online.

Howard County said AARP and the IRS is offering free tax preparation starting Feb. 1 for low- to moderate-income taxpayers, particularly those 60 and older. Tax preparers won’t handle complex returns or self-employment returns with more than $5,000 in expenses. Otherwise, make an appointment in advance by calling these senior centers:

Bain Center (410-313-7387), Ellicott City Senior Center (410-313-1400), Glenwood Center (410-313-5440), East Columbia Center (410-313-7680), North Laurel Center, (410-313-0380), or Elkridge Senior Center (410-313-5192).

Or, check out the IRS and AARP for free help near you.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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