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Texas is One of the Toughest Places in America to Get Tax Help

by: Katie Singh

Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 03:30 PM CDT

It's almost April 15, and that means tax day is fast approaching. As people scramble to get their taxes done in time, many will be looking for an accountant to make the onerous task of filing income taxes a little bit easier.

For people filing taxes in Texas, that search for an accountant is tougher than most other places in the United States. Texas is the second-worst state in the nation for tax help. This news comes from a new report by the financial social network Wallet Hub.

The rankings in the report are based on a variety of statistics relating the state's tax returns and the availability of accountants. Texas ranked near the bottom in many of these measurements.

See Texas' detailed tax rankings below the jump.

Texas ranked in the bottom 10 states in three major areas. We ranked 43rd in the number of accounting job openings per capita, which means Texas has more accounting job openings than most other states and, according to Wallet Hub, "seems to have tax needs that are not currently being met."

Texas was also 47th in the affordability of tax help. Wallet Hub measured affordability of tax help by looking at the "ratio between the average hourly rate for accountants and auditors in each state and the average wage in each state." The high price of tax help in Texas means many low-income Texans likely don't have access to tax help when they need it.

Finally, Texas ranked 48th in the average refund amount people receive. This means Texans are receiving large refunds. Though this may seem like a good thing at first, it actually indicates that most Texans are overpaying their taxes by a large amount, which Wallet Hub attributes to poor tax guidance. As the Wallet Hub report put it, "you'd probably prefer not to give the IRS even a temporary interest-free loan" while you are waiting for your refund. States with high refund rates, like Texas, don't "seem to be minding their P's and Q's quite to the level of low-refund states."

Texas is also in the lower half of states when it comes to the percentage of paid returns, where we ranked 36th. A "high number of paid returns indicates cheap, accessible and effective tax help," which Texas does not appear to have.

The areas where Texas ranked the highest were the number of accountants per 1,000 jobs, where we were 19th, and the number of returns filed per accountant, where we were 16th. This means that Texas has relatively more accountants with a lower workload than many other states.

Though we've got a lot of accountants, the other measures indicate that Texas nevertheless seems to lack the level of tax infrastructure it needs. Accountants are unaffordable, and there's still a need for more quality, affordable tax help. Texans are notoriously anti-tax, and it looks like this attitude is making it tougher for many to get the tax help they need.

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Do not republish without express written permission.

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