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CPA tax prep cost?

Old 03-28-2019, 12:11 PM
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Default CPA tax prep cost?

Curious as to rates charged for a similar tax return done by a CPA.

Married, filing jointly.
Standard deductions.
2 W2's total, same business, ours.
2 K9's each, total 4. Both our businesses.
2 IRA accounts.
1 stock account at Schwab with only one stock, ETF.

The CPA does our business taxes and advises on issues through the year. He is paid a $500/month retainer by the business for little work, at least now. It was more during an accounting transition. He also charges extra for the 2 business returns.

Charges me $800 for personal taxes. High? I am about to cut off his retainer if he charges me $800 again. Am I off base?

Edit: Smaller Alabama town.

Last edited by Gary999; 03-28-2019 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:30 PM
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Way high.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:36 PM
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mine charges a $120 for basically the same as you filings. also a very small town!
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:36 PM
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That is high.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:37 PM
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I live in Central AL. Small town. My CPA is an a neighboring smaller town than I am in. Every year, he sends me my tax organizer. I have to go through all my receipts, etc. Fill in all the blanks. Mail him the totals on everything. Mine charges me $850. I itemize my deductions. No IRA's, nothing. Prepares my taxes, electronically files them. Both state and federal. He does do W2's for my 2 employees.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:37 PM
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I agree, that seems extremely high for a simple tax return.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:41 PM
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Sounds very high. It is easy to shop around.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:50 PM
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I would have guessed $125 base cost, $100 per K-1 / sch E and maybe $50 for interest/dividends/cap gains. Seems a little steep.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:53 PM
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Well it's not a "simple" tax return. You have K-1s (NOT K-9s as you called them), which can be cumbersome to enter depending on the nature of your businesses.

You also have a 1099-DIV and possibly a 1099-B, which may or may not contain a multitude of dividend and stock/fund transactions.

Plus you have state return to do, which generally includes adjustments from your K-1s.

$800 is a little steep, but not out of line.

I would give $50 to anyone above who said it was an easy return if they would get it done in less than 2 hours!
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:05 PM
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I spend 1000 for my S-Corp filing and 350 for my personal return.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthpawHD View Post
Well it's not a "simple" tax return. You have K-1s (NOT K-9s as you called them), which can be cumbersome to enter depending on the nature of your businesses.

You also have a 1099-DIV and possibly a 1099-B, which may or may not contain a multitude of dividend and stock/fund transactions.

Plus you have state return to do, which generally includes adjustments from your K-1s.

$800 is a little steep, but not out of line.

I would give $50 to anyone above who said it was an easy return if they would get it done in less than 2 hours!
Yes, K-1's. Sorry, brain fart.

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Old 03-28-2019, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary999 View Post
Curious as to rates charged for a similar tax return done by a CPA.

Married, filing jointly.
Standard deductions.
2 W2's total, same business, ours.
2 K9's each, total 4. Both our businesses.
2 IRA accounts.
1 stock account at Schwab with only one stock, ETF.

The CPA does our business taxes and advises on issues through the year. He is paid a $500/month retainer by the business for little work, at least now. It was more during an accounting transition. He also charges extra for the 2 business returns.

Charges me $800 for personal taxes. High? I am about to cut off his retainer if he charges me $800 again. Am I off base?

Edit: Smaller Alabama town.
What have you been paying? This a new CPA?
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:33 PM
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The question is similar to “How much does a bag of groceries cost?”
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:40 PM
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I pay my CPA firm a lot but not one dime as a retainer, I don't understand why they would get one.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthpawHD View Post
Well it's not a "simple" tax return. You have K-1s (NOT K-9s as you called them), which can be cumbersome to enter depending on the nature of your businesses.

You also have a 1099-DIV and possibly a 1099-B, which may or may not contain a multitude of dividend and stock/fund transactions.

Plus you have state return to do, which generally includes adjustments from your K-1s.

$800 is a little steep, but not out of line.

I would give $50 to anyone above who said it was an easy return if they would get it done in less than 2 hours!
If a CPA cant do that tax return in two hours, he needs to update his software.

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Old 03-28-2019, 02:13 PM
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I am just glad my CPA does not read THT.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary999 View Post
Curious as to rates charged for a similar tax return done by a CPA.

Married, filing jointly.
Standard deductions.
2 W2's total, same business, ours.
2 K9's each, total 4. Both our businesses.
2 IRA accounts.
1 stock account at Schwab with only one stock, ETF.

The CPA does our business taxes and advises on issues through the year. He is paid a $500/month retainer by the business for little work, at least now. It was more during an accounting transition. He also charges extra for the 2 business returns.

Charges me $800 for personal taxes. High? I am about to cut off his retainer if he charges me $800 again. Am I off base?

Edit: Smaller Alabama town.
Robbery. My taxes are similar in complexity to yours. When my wife was living my accountant did our joint return and it ran abut $150.00. Wife has passed....taxes about the same but I have a new accountant and two dependant grandchildren who work. New accountant did all six returns (3 state, 3 feds) last year and E-filed them for a little over $200.00. My CPA is in Guntersville.

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Old 03-28-2019, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthpawHD View Post
Well it's not a "simple" tax return. You have K-1s (NOT K-9s as you called them), which can be cumbersome to enter depending on the nature of your businesses.

You also have a 1099-DIV and possibly a 1099-B, which may or may not contain a multitude of dividend and stock/fund transactions.

Plus you have state return to do, which generally includes adjustments from your K-1s.

$800 is a little steep, but not out of line.

I would give $50 to anyone above who said it was an easy return if they would get it done in less than 2 hours!
I think he is double dipping. If he is already doing the books and taxes on the business the personal taxes should be a slam dunk.

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Old 03-28-2019, 02:21 PM
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I own my own small business and my wife is w2. 800 is what we pay and we are in Commiefornia
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Old 03-28-2019, 03:05 PM
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I pay $1200 for mine. I own a business (business returns not included in that cost) and have a lot of personal investments, tax credits, etc. My tax organizer that I send is the thickness of a ream of paper and barely fits into a small fedex box.

Yours seems high and I don't understand why you have a retainer.
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