What is the Average Cost of Tax Preparation?

December 23, 2010 | Posted By: Lauren Dzuris | Categorized in: Finance, Tax Advice & Tips
Taxes are a fairly confusing subject. Youíre going to find that if you donít know what youíre doing, itís going to make matters worse. Letís not forget that if you make one little screw up, it can haunt you for the years to come.

How to save on tax preparation services

Use software packages. Tax packages such as H&R Block, as well as TurboTax can save you a fairly good amount of money. They are very easy to use and in fact, most of them will even offer a professional to look over your final work for free. Most packages in store will run around $100 or less, an excellent route for a simple tax return.

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See if you can file for free. Most states, as well as the federal government will allow you to file taxes for free if you meet a certain threshold. You generally have to make less than a certain amount of money to qualify to file for free. For example, last year if you made less than 57,000, the IRS allowed you to file for free. Free Federal Tax Filing

Analyzing the costs of professional tax preparers

When looking to sign up with a professional accountant, youíre going to want to first make sure that they are registered with your state and able to file your taxes legally. While itís great to have a friend do them for free, if they donít have the certifications, they can get you into a boat load of trouble.

Most industry experts will tell you that the average accountant is going to charge anywhere from $50 to $400 an hour. This is going to vary based on their expertise as well as the complexity of your tax return. If youíre running a business with 30 employees and you did well over 5 million in revenue, thereís going to be a lot more work and cost than for a small family with average income.

With well-known tax preparation franchises such as H&R Block as well as Jackson Hewiit, you will find that including your filing prices, youíre going to pay anywhere from $100 to $500+. Again, itís going to come down to the complexity of your tax return. When you keep it simple, you will pay less money.

In the end, make sure that you always play it safe with your taxes. If you donít know what youíre doing, be sure to hire a professional. Not only can they save you money, they can find many deductions that you didnít existed.

This is a guest post written by Lauren Dzuris. Lauren runs HowMuchIsIt.org a website that is designed to help you find the cost of just about anything from baby delivery to wedding costs.
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Comments
December 26, 2010 | Posted By: calwatch
Also, libraries and senior centers offer tax preparation for free for those under a certain level (under $50,000 or so). This is great to tell your friends and relatives who are less well off that they don't have to be put through the ringer by one of those seasonal tax outfits. In addition, the AARP tax service (TCE, Tax Counseling for the Elderly) has information in tune with the needs of older Americans, and often has more experience with this demographic than the 20 year old finance student part timing at Liberty or H&R.
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