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What is a reasonable charge for tax preparation?


Our company is structured as an S-Corp. We lost money in 2008, were due a small refund, and filed late so our 2008 and 2009 taxes were prepared at the same time. Our bill, all told, was abour $3,800 (plus we owed a small amount to the IRS for 2009).


Does that seem high? Is it reasonable? It's quite a bit higher than we've paid the same firm in previous years, and we weren't given any indication the rates would increase. I have to call the accountant and find out what's up, but I want to be fair. If it's reasonable, we'll pay it. If we're being fleeced, I'll take issue.


Any advice you can offer is much appreciated!

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I'm a CPA. That sounds very reasonable to me.


It's also reasonable for you to ask why it was higher than in the past and if there's anything you can do (such as better organization, better documentation of account balances, etc) to decrease the bill in the future.

Edited by LizzyBee
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We use H&R Block and they charge by the page so I don't know how a CPA charges. For our S-corp & personal taxes we usually pay around $800/yr. We don't have state taxes to add to the paperwork.


I'd ask them for a break down of the fees.

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I would have charged you a lot less, but I was not a CPA and may not have given you the same level of service. It also depended how complicated it was - I didn't do complicated, but would refer to a CPA.;)


Think of it in terms of tax savings - you *could* do it yourself for free using a software program for a lot less, but your tax bill probably would have been higher.:D

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Thanks, all! OK, I feel better about the charges, as I'm sure there are lots of things we could have done to make the process easier for our accountant. :)


I also remembered that he did, earlier in our business relationship, go back through 3 years of tax records, file ammended returns and get us refunds where our previous "accountant" had us owing money to the IRS.


So...we'll talk to him about how to lower the bill in the future, but pay what we owe him, now.

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