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Cost of Tax Preparer?

MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain?ChicagoRegistered User regular
We previously had our taxes done through a relative, but they can't do it this year. The woman who does my parent's offered, and told us to name a price. We're married, one kid, one house; so fairly simple.
What is a good rate to offer/accept?

Mugsley wrote:
So now I need to get it trimmed and adjusted, and all in.

Steam:MichaelLC

Posts

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    TaxCut. A $35 program for both federal and state tax returns that simplifies the entire tax process. Just grab your W4 forms, end of year bank forms, mortgage forms, follow the instructions, and you'll be done in no time. If you forget anything, TaxCut tell you what form you'll need to get, in order to complete your taxes. TaxCut is so simple to use that there's really no point in using a tax preparer for the vast majority of people.

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  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    I use TaxAct. It's $17.99 for state and federal, cheaper or free, depending on your options, if you just do federal.

    There's also Intuit TurboTax.

    I have never used a preparer, but I think they run you in the range of a few hundred.

  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    I've paid about $125 to a local guy or like $3-400 to a liberty tax or h&r affiliate type person

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    May do the software route, I know it's gotten super easy.
    I've paid about $125 to a local guy or like $3-400 to a liberty tax or h&r affiliate type person

    Yeah, I was thinking around $100, supposed to be 'friend prices' but don't want to offend or anything

    Mugsley wrote:
    So now I need to get it trimmed and adjusted, and all in.

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    Turbotax, probably the deluxe version. it will run you like 30 bucks.

    Also, it will remember your info from year to year, it will import your w-4 information its super easy.

    kime
  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist rugged, weathered Registered User regular
    I tried doing my own taxes last year.

    Married, both with full-time jobs, two kids, one house, itemized deductions, no other investments or income.

    Turned out to be about as time consuming as Turbotax. I suppose it's possible I missed something since I spent more time reading the 1040 instruction booklet than before, but otherwise it was a pretty easy process. I did eventually realize that I forgot to include my excise taxes on my deductions, but that was a mistake I could have made even with Turbotax. A 1040x solved that problem and I got an additional $17 refund as a result.

    The Massachusetts tax return turned out to be more of a pain because the DOR really wants their instructions to be as confusing as all fuck.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    I pay a firm to do mine. It was $300 married with 2 kids. Hopefully it'll be less now that I'm single.

    It's worth it to me to never ever ever have to think about it.

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    That's really the benefit of a tax preparer, in how much is your time and effort worth to you? I'm single, no assets, so I literally get my taxes done over lunch as soon as I get my W2. It would be a waste of money to pay someone else to do it. If your situation is fairly simply, handle it yourself and get a little practical knowledge. If your valuation of your time and what needs to be accounted for makes it worth it to pay a professional, do that.

  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    The benefit of a tax preparer is the discussion you have with them. My friend who does my taxes calls me up every year and asks questions to make sure I didn't forget anything. He tells me how much I could save by maxing out my IRA, etc. (you can contribute to your 2014 IRA for a few more months) and tells me what effect those decisions will have on my taxes. Also, any time I wonder about the tax implications of something I can quickly call him up and ask, which happens about once a year.

    I agree for most people with relatively simple situations software works well enough and the IRS itself is surprisingly helpful, but there are benefits to a preparer.

    Xaquin
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Turbotax asks you all the questions as well. It's amazingly simple, and there's really no reason not to use it unless your time is worth more than $200 an hour.

    What is this I don't even.
    kime
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Well, Intuit does actively lobby/bribe to prevent free filling. http://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-maker-of-turbotax-fought-free-simple-tax-filing

    Mugsley wrote:
    So now I need to get it trimmed and adjusted, and all in.

    Steam:MichaelLC
    DisruptedCapitalist
  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist rugged, weathered Registered User regular
    I tried doing my own taxes last year.

    Married, both with full-time jobs, two kids, one house, itemized deductions, no other investments or income.

    Turned out to be about as time consuming as Turbotax. I suppose it's possible I missed something since I spent more time reading the 1040 instruction booklet than before, but otherwise it was a pretty easy process. I did eventually realize that I forgot to include my excise taxes on my deductions, but that was a mistake I could have made even with Turbotax. A 1040x solved that problem and I got an additional $17 refund as a result.

    The Massachusetts tax return turned out to be more of a pain because the DOR really wants their instructions to be as confusing as all fuck.

    I also discovered it was substantially easier than the time I sold my Roth IRA to finance purchasing my house. I had done a lot of research on my own before I bought the house to make sure I wouldn't get any penalties, so when I used Turbotax that year it kept giving me a hard time about the amount I paid ($0) even though I know it was wrong. I suppose there is the "Audit Support Guarantee" that Turbotax offers to help shield myself; but since that costs extra, I still am quite convinced I can do as good a job as Turbotax if not better at filing my own taxes.

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