Will tax preparers stay in high demand?

1040 tax form

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: We're set to hear from tax-prep company H&R Block this morning. The figures are likely to give us a better idea of how the recession is impacting that industry. From New York, Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson has more.


JEREMY HOBSON: About 60 percent of Americans still go to a professional for their tax needs. That includes chains like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt -- and CPAs. The other 40 percent do their taxes manually -- with the majority of those people heading online.

BOB MEIGHAN: Online tax preparation, using software or an online service, is growing extremely rapidly.

That's Bob Meighan with Turbotax, whose parent company Intuit recently reported quarterly results well above expectations.

George Van Horn with IBIS World Industry Research says while accountants have been in high demand because of all those complex financial products.

GEORGE VAN HORN: Now as people in the next couple of years simplify their financial portfolios, you could easily see people requiring less value-added services.

Plus, taxpayers may try to cut back on the expense of tax preparation, he says. And that is is bad news for accountants.

In New York, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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