Are you paying too much for tax preparation?
Updated: Dec 28, 2019
Due to the wide variety of tax services on offer, most tax preparers, other than franchised business such as H&R Block, prefer to give customized quotes for the services needed. However, the National Society of Accountants most recently published a study of average tax preparation fee in January 2017. The survey results below represent basic form preparation by a mixture of tax professionals with varying credentials and experience, so if you work with a highly-credentialed and experienced tax preparer, be prepared to pay more than the national averages.
$176 for Form 1040 without itemized deductions
$273 for Form 1040 with itemized deductions
For additional forms filed, add:
$124 for Schedule D, for gains and losses
$135 for Schedule E, for rental income
$180 for Schedule F, for farm income
$53 for Form 8965, for health coverage exemptions
$58 for Form 1095-A, for health insurance marketplace
$184 Schedule C, profit or loss from business
If your financial situation is a bit more complex, you show up for your appointment with an abundance of receipts, or if you're missing one or more important tax documents, be prepared to be charged additional fees.
In addition to preparation fees,
71% tax preparers charge an added fee for disorganized or incomplete files
33% tax preparers charge an additional fee for file extensions
22% tax preparers charge an additional fee for information received after a set deadline
24% tax preparers charge an additional fee to expedite returns
How do your fees compare to the national average? Fees that are significantly higher or lower than the national average warrant further investigation. Being unprepared, disorganized, or requiring additional calculations or time spent will obviously, increase your fees. Conversely, be wary of tax professionals who charge significantly less than the average; do your homework and be sure they are licensed, insured and qualified.
And next time you find yourself shopping for a preparer offering the best fees, please remember...
Anyone who quotes prices for tax prep before fully interviewing
a client is unethical or incompetent.
While we are, of course, available to provide you with any business, accounting or tax services, the information contained herein is general in nature; any advice regarding those services should not be construed as tax advice and is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues, a substitute for a legal, accounting or tax advice or opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties to the reader. The reader also is cautioned that this material may not be applicable to, or suitable for, the reader's specific circumstances or needs, and may require consideration of non-tax and other tax factors if any action is to be contemplated. The reader should contact Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC or other tax professional prior to taking any action based upon this information. Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in tax laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.