FEES FOR SERVICES PROVIDED
(Note: For current fee information refer to the Page entitled Updated Fee Schedules 2015)
My personal fees:
Effective October 1, 2015, my fee for tax representation as a tax power of attorney Form 2848 is $625. I do not handle any cases without this authority. Tax preparation is extra as are other services provided. Often my clients come to me after having spent thousands of dollars on an attorney or tax resolution company with no success or solution to their problem.
Much of what is accomplished depends upon the compliance and cooperation of my client. To properly represent my clients, it is assumed that there will be cooperation and complete and accurate records provided to me on a timely basis which are within the timeframes allowed by the IRS.
The fees quoted below do not include tax preparation. My revised fees starting with October 1, 2015, are as follows:
Negotiated Installment Agreement $1,200
CP 2000 $1,500
Tax Representation Minimum Retainer starting at $625
Currently Not Collectible Status starting at $1,500
Offer In Compromise IRS Debt starting at $1,500
Penalty Abatements starting at $1,250
Stopping wage garnishments, levies and liens starting at $1,200
Return of Property Seized by IRS starting at $1,200
Innocent Spouse Protection starting at $2,500
Audit Representation $1,500 per tax form per tax year
Typically, accountants that prepare tax returns are professionals with credentials that demonstrate their experience and expertise. They are often:
Enrolled Agents (E.A. - federally authorized tax practitioners)
Accredited Tax Advisors
Accredited Tax Preparers
Certified Public Accountants
Accredited Business Advisor/Accountant
Accountants or Accounting Practitioners
The IRS currently issues a PTIN for those desiring to prepare tax returns. The PTIN is the preparers tax identification number that can be used in place of the preparer's social security number. This PTIN does not insure that the preparer of the tax return is qualified by the IRS to prepare tax returns. IRS cannot regulate tax preparers by requiring that they know anything about taxes or tax preparation. It is merely a number that can be easily obtained by any one with a Social Security Number who wishes to obtain a PTIN. If you are paying to have your tax return prepared by a tax professional, they should sign and date the return and provide their PTIN. Additionally, they should provide you with a copy of the tax return they have prepared on your behalf.
Payment for my tax preparation services requires a deposit. After completion of your tax return, the remaining balance is due and payable prior to providing you with a signed copy of it. Fees for tax preparation are dependent upon its complexity, the Form to be filed (whether individual or business) as well as the number and type of individual or business forms, worksheets and schedules required. Accurate pricing is hard to do until the return is completed. After your return is prepared, if you are not comfortable with the price, the process will be stopped and any documents you brought in will be returned to you. Please note, however, that the documents prepared for you will not be provided until payment is made.
Nationwide Fees - Tax Year 2010
The average tax preparation fee for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return is $205. The average cost to prepare a Form 1040 and state tax return without itemized deductions is $115. The average fees for preparing other Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms are as follows:
$518 for a Form 1065 (partnership)
$685 for a Form 1120 (corporation)
$656 for a Form 1120S (S corporation)
$430 for preparing a Form 1041 (fiduciary)
$1,729 for Form 706 (estates)
$521 for a Form 990 (tax exempt)
Note: Fees vary according to the expertise and licensing of the tax preparer, the region of the country wherein it is prepared, as well as the complexity of the return. Fees have increased very little from year to year. Fees also vary depending upon how much necessary information has been gathered by the taxpayer. If the preparer has to reconstruct most of the data and prepare worksheets and complex calculations, the fees vary accordingly. If the taxpayer brings unorganized documents and receipts that must be analyzed, sorted and totaled, the fee for doing so will vary. Some tax preparation firms charge an hourly fee for such services.
Please be aware that if you take up a lot of the tax professional's time asking questions, have complex tax matters/issues, or just need a lot of tax help, it is only fair that you should expect to pay more than other clients.
Representation - "Power of Attorney" - Form 2848
+ out-of-pocket expenses + hourly fees apply
My services for representing you on audits, collection and appeals matters require a flat fee of $625 before any work on your case is started. You will need to provide me with a completed Form 2848 which authorizes me to act on your behalf on your tax matter. I will review your case, order your tax transcripts and provide you with an estimate of the total fee during our initial consultation. Should additional services be required to process your case that were not anticipated, the additional expenses will be discussed with you. Preparation of tax returns and/or amended returns is additional. My fees are competitive and affordable. As an Enrolled Agent, I am a tax expert and can offer you quality tax expertise and knowledge. Enrolled Agents are the preferred tax professions over attorneys and CPAs.
In many cases, attorneys and CPAs do not specialize in taxation. I specialize in taxation and am an expert in IRS procedure and protocol. I know what IRS can and cannot do. Fees for representing you during the examination, collection or appeals process start at $625. Tax preparation fees and out of pocket fees will vary depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case and the services required.
Typically, the average price for processing an Offer In Compromise is between $3,500 and $4,000 (which includes the preparation of prior year unfiled tax returns, postage and handling). The Offer In Compromise can take 20 or more man hours and span over a period of several months and even up to one year. Payment is required prior to beginning work on your case. This service is provided only if there is a good possibility that the offer will be accepted by IRS. Not everyone qualifies for the Offer In Compromise. However, there are many other alternatives available to you to resolve your tax matter.
Representation often requires research, analysis, and preparation of non-filed returns, amending returns, corresponding with the Internal Revenue Service and rendering written advice. I will represent you at conferences, hearings and meetings. Consequently, the fees can range significantly. Many other companies charge fees ranging anywhere from $2,500 to over $8,000. My fees are significantly more affordable.
IRS Income and Account Transcripts
can be requested and analyzed for errors and ommissions. The IRS can and does make mistakes. These errors can be corrected. IRS transcripts are often available within 24 hours.
REVIEW OF YOUR TAX RETURN
Often I am asked to review an indvidual, business, trust or employment tax return. While I have not actually prepared the tax return, I will review it for a FEE to ensure that any tax deductions, credits and exemptions allowed have been reported. This is to ensure that you are paying only what you actually owe in taxes and receiving all allowable tax deductions and credits. My fee for this review varies depending upon the type of form, the number of schedules and workpapers involved and the complexity of the return.
Minimum fee is $125
Acceptable forms of payment are cash, check, money order, credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover Card), Paypal and in some special cases of hardship an installment agreement.
FEES TYPICALLY CHARGED BY TAX RESOLUTION COMPANIES
Friday, April 23, 2010 Fees for Tax Representation -- What's Reasonable? BASE
fee is $1500.00.
We can add and subtract from that depending on your situation. This is a FLAT fee -- you should NOT expect to pay anything else as long as you follow our protocol. The fees also include handling any APPEALS of your case -- if/when necessary.IRS or State Collection cases:
1. Payroll tax liability - Form 941/940
- business still open - Revenue Officer Assigned -- $1250.00 to $5500.00.
2. Payroll tax liability - Form 941/940
- business closed or about to be closed -- assistance on closure and reducing chances of personal assessment -- $1050.00 to $3750.00
3.Individual back taxes or civil penalty taxes - Form 1040 or Form 6672
-- case assigned to Automated Collection Systems (ACS
)* -- $850.00 to $2750.00.
4. Individual back taxes - Form 1040 --
case assigned to Rev. Officer
-- $1550.00 to $3750.00
Resolution might include Offer in Compromise, Uncollectible Status, Payment Plan Negotiation and/or Penalty Abatement
5. Individual back taxes - Form 1040
-- case not in ACS
-- $850.00 to $1750.00
. Resolution might include Offer in Compromise, Uncollectible Status, Payment Plan Negotiation and/or Penalty Abatement
6. Penalty abatement ONLY
-- $750.00 to $1550.00
Preparing the paperwork to request waiver of penalties and interest on a paid or unpaid tax bill .7. State tax cases -- $1000.00 to $1500.00
If you owe your States individual or business taxes, we generally charge this fee to handle all representation and resolution on your case UNLESS the case is an unusual and highly complex one. (You'll need to call about that).* ACS or Automated Collection Systems is the division of the IRS that is reached by a 1-800 # and staffed by thousands of workers who look up your case in a central computer. Audit or Examination cases
1. 1040 audit
-- $1500.00 to $5500.00
, depending on the complexity of the audit and what stage the audit is in.
2. Appeal of audit or Doubt as to Liability - Offer in Compromise
-- $1500.00 to $4000.00. If we see your audit as screwed up, we might appeal it for you and start over. This is done by appealing the audit OR filing a Doubt as to Liability - Offer in Compromise.Tax preparation fees are separate
- but are generally comparable with a normal Accountant's fees. If there is serious financial hardship involved, we are always flexible and give out "free tips" daily to those who are destitute.
TAX PREPARATION FEES
Most of them hold widely respected credentials such as Enrolled Agent, Certified Public Accountant, Accredited Tax Preparer, Accredited Tax Advisor, and others. The survey also reported the average fees for preparing other Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms, including:
- $152 for a Form 1040 and state return without itemized deductions
- $261 for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A
- $218 for a Form 1040 Schedule C (business)
- $590 for a Form 1065 (partnership)
- $806 for a Form 1120 (corporation)
- $761 for a Form 1120S (S corporation)
- $497 for a Form 1041 (fiduciary)
- $667 for a Form 990 (tax exempt)
- $63 for a Form 940 (Federal unemployment)
- $142 for Schedule D (gains and losses)
- $165 for Schedule E (rental)
- $196 for Schedule F (farm)
Fees vary by region, firm size, population, and economic strength of an area. The average tax preparation fee for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return in each U.S. census district are as follows:
- New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) – $251
- Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) – $274
- South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) – $270
- East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) – $294
- West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) – $242
- East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) – $238
- West North Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) – $208
- Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY) – $245
- Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) – $303
More on Tax Preparation Fees for 2015
Tax professionals use a variety of methods for setting prices for tax preparation services. As a result, finding out what's a fair price to pay often proves difficult. Generally, the price for tax preparation services increases depending upon the complexity of the tax return.
Pricing Methods Used by Tax Preparers Fee structures are decided by each individual firm. So if you are comparing different tax professionals, you'll want to ask how they determine their prices, and what they estimate your tax preparation service might cost. Because of per-item, per-form, or per-hourly rates, it might be impractical for an accountant to provide you with an accurate price quote. Accordingly, you'll want to ask accountants for a likely price range for your tax return.
All fees assume that a taxpayer has gathered and organized necessary
information and provides it to the preparer on time. The average fee to file an
extension is $120, though that figure rises to $175 if information isn’t submitted
at least 15 days ahead of a filing deadline.
Tax professionals use a variety of different methods to set prices.
In a study conducted by the National Association of Tax Professionals, pricing methods include:
- A set fee for each tax form or schedule,
- A fee based on last year's fee plus an additional fee for any changes in a client's tax situation,
- A minimum tax return fee, plus an additional fee based on the complexity of the client's situation,
- A value-based fee based on the subjective value of the tax preparation service,
- An hourly rate for time spent preparing the tax return, and
- A set fee for each item of data entry
Average Prices for Tax Preparation Fees
The National Society of Accountants in their 2013 fee study reports the following average prices charged by their members:
- Average for 1040 with Schedule A and state return: $261
Average cost for a Schedule C is an additional $205 to $218.
- Average for 1040 with state return with no itemized deductions: $152
Average Prices at Franchised Tax Offices
- H&R Block: $198 per return (average, 2013 data)
- Liberty Tax Service: $180 per return (average, 2013 data)
(Jackson Hewitt, also a nation-wide chain, does not disclose their average fees.) The fees charged by the chains and as reported by the National Society of Accountants are fairly similar. So these average prices may represent a sort of range for average prices charged. Find Out What's Included in the Tax Preparation Fee.
To help you determine if your tax preparation fee is appropriate, be sure to ask the accountant exactly what's included in the fee. Do they charge extra for electronic filing? Do they charge extra if you need a copy of your tax return later in the year? Does the fee include a tax consultation or planning meeting where you can ask questions and received advice on how to minimize your taxes?
Some firms, especially the franchise chains, charge an extra fee for audit protection
. This is basically a way to prepay for any costs associated with an audit of your tax return.
So you should ask the accountant how they charge in case your return is audited, or if they will correct any mistakes they make free of charge.
Additionally, find out how the accountant will charge if you have any follow-up questions later in the year, or if you need copies of your documents, or need help responding to a letter from the IRS regarding the year(s) that you filed with your tax professional.
How to Negotiate a Fair Price
You are entitled to ask your accountant for a price quote or an estimate in writing, before the tax preparation begins. You can also ask your accountant to let you know, in advance, before the fee exceeds your budgeted amount. If you are searching for the lowest price, the best thing to do is call various tax preparation firms and get a feel for their price ranges. The business might not be able to give you an exact price quote, but they should be able to quote you either an average price or a price range for your tax situation.
Some firms will charge higher prices during their busiest days. The weeks just after W-2 forms are mailed out, and the weeks just before the April 15th deadline are busiest. You may be able to obtain a lower price quote during a less busy part of the season. Additionally, it's easier to negotiate prices up front before work has begun on the tax return than after all the work has been completed. If you're on a budget, you may want to negotiate a flat fee for your tax preparation. Be sure to discuss your budget upfront with your accountant to see what they are able to do.
Inappropriate Pricing Methods
While tax accountants employ a variety of pricing mechanisms, there are some pricing models that are illegal and prohibited by regulations issued by the Treasury Department in Circular 230. As a general rule, tax professionals are prohibited from charging "an unconscionable fee" for providing tax services. Further, tax professionals are prohibited from charging a fee that's based on any information contained in the tax return. The most common example is a fee that's based on a percentage of your tax refund. Tax preparers are also prohibited from charging contingent fees except in certain limited circumstances.
Additionally, you should be wary of a tax preparation fee that is much higher than normal. Exorbitant fees can be an early indicator that your tax preparer is engaging in fraudulent activities. Several cases of fraud have involved tax preparers taking inappropriate deductions and tax credits and charging large fees to their clients. If your invoice is much higher than you anticipated, be sure to ask your accountant how the fees were determined.
What to Do in the Case of a Price Dispute?
Inevitably, clients and tax accountants may disagree over the appropriate price of a tax preparation service. You should be aware that regulations issued by the Treasury Department protect the client in fee disputes.
Clients are always entitled to receive their original tax documents back from their accountant, even if the fee hasn't been paid. By the same token, accountants can keep any forms, schedules and documents they have prepared themselves.