How Long Will It Take?


In this lesson, you’ll learn how long it might take to file your tax return. There will be a short quiz at the end of this lesson to make sure you understand the material before moving onto the next lesson.

It’s difficult to estimate the time it’ll take to accurately complete a federal income tax return. According to the IRS, the average tax return takes 11 hours to complete, but very simple tax returns may take much less time, and very complex tax returns may take much more time. Keeping organized and accurate records, though, will always save you time.

Other ways to save yourself time when filing a tax return include:

  • Using software
  • The IRS offers Free File, a program that makes software available for free to lower income filers
  • Using a professional tax preparer

The IRS offers Free Tax Return Preparation, by trained volunteers, to qualifying files including blind and senior filers.