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

    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).

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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.
    It depends on a lot of things. For instance, how many sources of income do you have?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Muhammed View Post
    It depends on a lot of things. For instance, how many sources of income do you have?
    That was laid out in the question. At least I thought it was.

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

    Hard to say....for those who really know the code and with good computer programs and a cooperative client(record keeping), 1 to 2% of the gross income....wild guess, of course, I still do my own...its now easy.
    Without good record-keeping and without a computer, it would be double that , or more , IMO.
    no vote, of course...

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

    Luther, I don't know what would be a fair price. A couple of years back we were given estimates between 300-400. We do our own but it's continually getting more complicated. The tax manual this year was the thickest I have ever seen and then there are several other manuals you have to read pertaining to additional forms. My spouse insists on doing it without the aid of a computer program like Turbo Tax. If you have a question and try calling the IRS for help, a person should make their lunch in advance so they can eat it while they put you on hold. It takes a good amount of time to complete the process. It shouldn't be that hard/complicated. If a person didn't have the time to dedicate, it would be worth every penny to have someone else deal with it for you.

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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).
    I pay $450 to a tax professional (licensed to practice before the IRS, if that makes sense). I have stock gains/losses (probably three or four transactions); interest income from at least a dozen sources, tax-free income calculations, K-1, and personal deductions. I wouldn't do that return myself for all the tea, as they say. Happy to pay it. I just give them my 1099s and broker statements. They take it from there.

    When I was active in real estate and had the Schedule C (is that what it's called?), I paid $700. Happy to pay it.

    Major metro market.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    I pay $450 to a tax professional (licensed to practice before the IRS, if that makes sense). I have stock gains/losses (probably three or four transactions); interest income from at least a dozen sources, tax-free income calculations, K-1, and personal deductions. I wouldn't do that return myself for all the tea, as they say. Happy to pay it. I just give them my 1099s and broker statements. They take it from there.

    When I was active in real estate and had the Schedule C (is that what it's called?), I paid $700. Happy to pay it.

    Major metro market.
    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.

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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.
    The fault of every entrepreneur is being afraid to raise their prices . . . or thinking they're charging too much. Please remember that it's not the time it takes you to fill out the returns that matters. It's the knowledge you've gained over your thirty-year career that allows you to fill them out in the time it takes you that needs respecting.

    Want to add value? Send a mailing a few times a year...reminding people, for instance, to send in their estimated tax payments...reminding them of deadlines for IRA contributions...reminding them not to move their IRA money without a call to you to discuss basic elements of transfer...those kinds of things.

    But don't sell yourself short, Luther. It's a very common thing for self-employeds to do.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by vesper View Post
    Luther, I don't know what would be a fair price. A couple of years back we were given estimates between 300-400. We do our own but it's continually getting more complicated. The tax manual this year was the thickest I have ever seen and then there are several other manuals you have to read pertaining to additional forms. My spouse insists on doing it without the aid of a computer program like Turbo Tax. If you have a question and try calling the IRS for help, a person should make their lunch in advance so they can eat it while they put you on hold. It takes a good amount of time to complete the process. It shouldn't be that hard/complicated. If a person didn't have the time to dedicate, it would be worth every penny to have someone else deal with it for you.

    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.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    The fault of every entrepreneur is being afraid to raise their prices . . . or thinking they're charging too much. Please remember that it's not the time it takes you to fill out the returns that matters. It's the knowledge you've gained over your thirty-year career that allows you to fill them out in the time it takes you that needs respecting.

    Want to add value? Send a mailing a few times a year...reminding people, for instance, to send in their estimated tax payments...reminding them of deadlines for IRA contributions...reminding them not to move their IRA money without a call to you to discuss basic elements of transfer...those kinds of things.

    But don't sell yourself short, Luther. It's a very common thing for self-employeds to do.
    That's funny. It's the same advice I give my business clients!

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