View Poll Results: How much is reasonable?

Voters
11. You may not vote on this poll
  • <$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. #21
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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by tecoyah View Post
    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.
    I couldn't charge what a CPA charges because, although I've prepared returns for years, I don't have that designation. I can just legally prepare (I have a PTIN). However I cannot represent them, as I'm not an attorney, a CPA, or an enrolled agent.

  2. #22
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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    I couldn't charge what a CPA charges because, although I've prepared returns for years, I don't have that designation. I can just legally prepare (I have a PTIN). However I cannot represent them, as I'm not an attorney, a CPA, or an enrolled agent.
    Which is the reason I recommend a CPA (no offense intended), going by the information presented there are risks involved in tax preparation that are worth the added expense and protection. I have learned this the hard way...and so goes my recommendation.


    But, it is only personal opinion.

  3. #23
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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    I'm just kind of curious about what's considered to be reasonable for professional tax preparation and consultation.

    For the purpose of this poll I'll be discussing a return that is somewhat beyond 'basic' and has items that might be more prone to audit. The return consists of:
    - Married couple with one retired and the other self employed as a real estate agent
    - One pension distribution and two IRA distributions
    - Social Security income for both
    - 15 items of interest and/or dividends
    - Schedule C with <$100k gross receipts that shows a small loss.
    - Schedule E with two rentals
    - Several stock sales reported in bulk
    - Depreciation on the rentals
    - Office in Home expenses on the Sch C
    - Sch A with a lot of medical but minimal charitable contributions
    - State return with no special adjustments

    Generally speaking I see higher prices in major metropolitan areas than in other areas so I'll include that as a factor. If you participate please pick whether you're basing this on a major metropolitan area (M) of a rural/suburban market (R).
    My wife and I paid about $500 a couple years ago when our tax situation was more complicated than usual due to inheriting a bunch of money (some directly, some from the estate, some from sale of real estate, etc.) when her parents died. We live in the suburbs of detroit.
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  4. #24
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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    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.
    Here's an example of the problem I'm having:

    The return I just finished is for a woman who only has W-2 income and a rental in another state. She makes next to nothing on the rental but this year she had to put in most of a new kitchen and new bathrooms. The new depreciation rules consider those things to be 'improvements' instead of 'repairs' so I have to go in and figure out what percentage of the basis in her house is bathroom and kitchen, back that out and 'sell' it then enter all the new stuff as pieces and parts to be depreciated separately. That takes a while and since it's kind of subjective it opens up room for an adjustment if she's audited. I also wouldn't be surprised if there's an audit because she makes decent money and the result is a larger than normal loss on the rental. The IRS seems to be eating that kind of thing up.

    I'm not concerned that if they decide to examine there will be an issue but it's the process that sucks. So what do I do? Do I charge her double what I normally do or suck it up in the interests of keeping a customer happy? I decided to split the difference on the invoice withthe understanding that it's going to be a "one off".

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    Here's an example of the problem I'm having:

    The return I just finished is for a woman who only has W-2 income and a rental in another state. She makes next to nothing on the rental but this year she had to put in most of a new kitchen and new bathrooms. The new depreciation rules consider those things to be 'improvements' instead of 'repairs' so I have to go in and figure out what percentage of the basis in her house is bathroom and kitchen, back that out and 'sell' it then enter all the new stuff as pieces and parts to be depreciated separately. That takes a while and since it's kind of subjective it opens up room for an adjustment if she's audited. I also wouldn't be surprised if there's an audit because she makes decent money and the result is a larger than normal loss on the rental. The IRS seems to be eating that kind of thing up.

    I'm not concerned that if they decide to examine there will be an issue but it's the process that sucks. So what do I do? Do I charge her double what I normally do or suck it up in the interests of keeping a customer happy? I decided to split the difference on the invoice withthe understanding that it's going to be a "one off".
    You made a good business decision, Luther. I'm not surprised.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    Here's an example of the problem I'm having:

    The return I just finished is for a woman who only has W-2 income and a rental in another state. She makes next to nothing on the rental but this year she had to put in most of a new kitchen and new bathrooms. The new depreciation rules consider those things to be 'improvements' instead of 'repairs' so I have to go in and figure out what percentage of the basis in her house is bathroom and kitchen, back that out and 'sell' it then enter all the new stuff as pieces and parts to be depreciated separately. That takes a while and since it's kind of subjective it opens up room for an adjustment if she's audited. I also wouldn't be surprised if there's an audit because she makes decent money and the result is a larger than normal loss on the rental. The IRS seems to be eating that kind of thing up.

    I'm not concerned that if they decide to examine there will be an issue but it's the process that sucks. So what do I do? Do I charge her double what I normally do or suck it up in the interests of keeping a customer happy? I decided to split the difference on the invoice withthe understanding that it's going to be a "one off".
    I would just prorate it based off of square footage weighed against FMV. But that's just me.

  7. #27
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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    Turbo tax, I do my entire family's taxes for 60 bucks. I'm self employed 1099, my sister is self employed, with no 1099 just customer receipts and collects food stamps, my mother is retired, and my nephew is EZ.
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  8. #28
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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    My grandfather ran his own tax return agency and he constantly got threatened by HR Block and Jackson Hewitt to raise his prices because they couldn't get business. In SC, he would do taxes for next to free often times for poor black families just because he knew they were stupid enough to go to one of the big guys and felt a moral obligation to get them as much money as he could. In that respect, I think you should pay $0. If you aren't an idiot you can do your taxes for free with some time and research.
    "We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy." -Reagan

  9. #29
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    Re: What should I expect to pay to get my taxes done?

    7/10...pretty good laugh.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnWOlin View Post
    My grandfather ran his own tax return agency and he constantly got threatened by HR Block and Jackson Hewitt to raise his prices because they couldn't get business. In SC, he would do taxes for next to free often times for poor black families just because he knew they were stupid enough to go to one of the big guys and felt a moral obligation to get them as much money as he could. In that respect, I think you should pay $0. If you aren't an idiot you can do your taxes for free with some time and research.
    I had a husband who thought like you. He wouldn't call a plumber. Wouldn't call the appliance repair people. He'd curse his brains out for ten days, inconvenience his whole family, and, finally, if he was lucky, avoid that $75 housecall. He wouldn't pay anybody to do anything. Nothing!

    He's dead now.

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