View Poll Results: How much is reasonable?

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  • <$250(M)

    7 63.64%
  • <$250(R)

    0 0%
  • $250-500(M)

    0 0%
  • $250-500(S)

    0 0%
  • $500-750(M)

    1 9.09%
  • $500-750(R)

    0 0%
  • >$750-either

    1 9.09%
  • >$1000-either

    2 18.18%
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Thread: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

  1. #11
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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    My advisor does them as part of his service. My return is not at all complicated.

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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    LOL!!

    Those phone calls to the IRS absolutely suck and, truth be told, a lot of the advice you get from them is pretty bad. The problem you run into is that most of the time the correct answer is dependent on the circumstances AND on the other stuff on your return. It's really easy to spend hours to get an answer to a question only to find that it makes little or no difference on your return.
    And please! Let's not forget that if you get the wrong answer over the phone, it's all on you!

    I've actually had pretty good success with the IRS. I've been penalized several times for things and took my accountant's advice: paid it immediately and then asked the Problem Resolution people for a rebate of the penalty. I've always gotten it. I would never attempt to navigate my return on my own.

    I used to do my mom's return on Turbo Tax. Hers is very simple. Pension/dividend and interest income and standard deduction. My guy does that for $150 and I choose to take advantage of that now. I just don't enjoy wading through the Turbo Tax questions...usually end up with a question . . . so for me (her), it's a matter of convenience. But my own? No way.

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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    And please! Let's not forget that if you get the wrong answer over the phone, it's all on you!

    I've actually had pretty good success with the IRS. I've been penalized several times for things and took my accountant's advice: paid it immediately and then asked the Problem Resolution people for a rebate of the penalty. I've always gotten it. I would never attempt to navigate my return on my own.

    I used to do my mom's return on Turbo Tax. Hers is very simple. Pension/dividend and interest income and standard deduction. My guy does that for $150 and I choose to take advantage of that now. I just don't enjoy wading through the Turbo Tax questions...usually end up with a question . . . so for me (her), it's a matter of convenience. But my own? No way.
    One of the returns I got in was just like that. 4 distributions from various retirement accounts and some interest from the bank. The invoice she paid the previous year was over $800.

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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    With everything listed I would probably charge 350-400. Doubt they'd be itemizing so I wouldn't go over 500.

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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    With everything listed I would probably charge 350-400. Doubt they'd be itemizing so I wouldn't go over 500.
    The kicker for me on most returns like this is the complexity of the Sch C. If it's clean and I can rely on the numbers I'm given it will be a whole lot less than if it appears to be cobbled together and I need to do some accounting just for due diligence purposes.

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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    With everything listed I would probably charge 350-400. Doubt they'd be itemizing so I wouldn't go over 500.
    A good CPA will charge you $4-800 and guarantee you no audit (representation if it occurs), based on your listed criteria. However, that CPA will likely add $4-5000 to your return.....spend the money as if an investment.

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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    That's actually pretty reasonable especially considering your market.

    Part of the reason I'm asking is because I jacked up prices this year and an now discounting because I'm feeling guilty. The other part is because I picked up a LOT of new business this year and have seen wild variations in pricing.
    I heard a pretty good line about setting prices. If no one is complaining that your prices are too high, they're probably too low.

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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    I heard a pretty good line about setting prices. If no one is complaining that your prices are too high, they're probably too low.
    I bought a practice 10 years ago and the guy was running a charity. In the first year I doubled prices (was still below the local average) and lost about 20% of the practice. I figured that was a decent trade off because I made more than he had with less clients. Over the years, though, it's been difficult to move much higher. I'll normally bump about 5%/yr but when someone retires and pays off their house their return gets a lot less complex so I'm uncomfortable raising the price for an easier return. New clients, however, tend to come in at a higher rate so I'm making up for it. That being said, when my new business comes from a referral and the returns are similar I run into the quandary of "do I charge this one a lot more? What if they compare notes?"

    My current solution has been to prepare my invoices differently so that the client can (generally) see what a full cost return would be versus what they are actually being charged.

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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    I bought a practice 10 years ago and the guy was running a charity. In the first year I doubled prices (was still below the local average) and lost about 20% of the practice. I figured that was a decent trade off because I made more than he had with less clients. Over the years, though, it's been difficult to move much higher. I'll normally bump about 5%/yr but when someone retires and pays off their house their return gets a lot less complex so I'm uncomfortable raising the price for an easier return. New clients, however, tend to come in at a higher rate so I'm making up for it. That being said, when my new business comes from a referral and the returns are similar I run into the quandary of "do I charge this one a lot more? What if they compare notes?"

    My current solution has been to prepare my invoices differently so that the client can (generally) see what a full cost return would be versus what they are actually being charged.
    That's a good approach. Humans are weird. I'd be upset If you charged me one amount, and my neighbor less; but I'd be much more comfortable with us being invoiced the same and my neighbor receiving a "coupon".

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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    The kicker for me on most returns like this is the complexity of the Sch C. If it's clean and I can rely on the numbers I'm given it will be a whole lot less than if it appears to be cobbled together and I need to do some accounting just for due diligence purposes.
    I was thinking that too, but I've discovered that most business owners learn after one year that it's in their best interest to minimize the legwork of the preparer.

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