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How much do you pay for your accountant?

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I pay $450.  My taxes include multiple streams of income, including my full-time job with a K1/partnership statement, consulting work, investments, and many deductions.  

I know it's not the FW way to even *have* an accountant, but if you want/need one, please post:

How much do you pay?
And how did you select him/her?  

Many apologies if this has been discussed before.

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$425. Includes taxes for rental properties, consulting, side businesses.
Chosen because he's the same guy my dad uses. My... (more)

imbatman (May. 02, 2017 @ 3:48p) |

Indeed. If I even get a magaine or advertisement in the mail with my name and address on it I cut out the name/address a... (more)

justignoredem (May. 02, 2017 @ 3:56p) |

This is more along the lines of what I was expecting to see. I'm really surprised by all of the low numbers. Then again,... (more)

marginoferror (May. 03, 2017 @ 8:00a) |

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rated:
phisher4 said:   I pay $450.  My taxes include multiple streams of income, including my full-time job with a K1/partnership statement, consulting work, investments, and many deductions.  

I know it's not the FW way to even *have* an accountant, but if you want/need one, please post:

How much do you pay?
And how did you select him/her?  

Many apologies if this has been discussed before.

  The right answer isn't how much you pay them so much as how much work they do for you for the money. If your accountant takes the pieces of paper you brought in, and fills out the forms with them, you're paying too much - TurboTax  can gladly ask you for those pieces of paper and let you enter those numbers. If your accountant is asking you for things you haven't thought of, and finding deductions outside of the pieces of paper you already planned on handing him, for that level of work, doesn't sound out of line.

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Where you live is also relevant. I'd expect to pay a lot more in NYC than Lubbock because of both cost of living and local tax differences.

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Normal itemized state and federal return with schedule D was 175 for me.  This also affords a reasonable amount of phone calls to them over the year, some perspective on strategy and tax minimization.  

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i used to pay $150 for simple return with investment income and self employed situation . but that was 10 yeas back , now i do it myself .

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I pay $450

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$3250

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I pay $350 and have a similar set up to op only no W-2 job. Our family has been using members of this firm since the 60's.

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$60.... helps to have accountants in the family...

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$300 for few rental properties and 1040 married filing separately.. I've found the value isn't the work she does during tax time, it is the 6-8 calls a year I make to her to ask her about how to structure rental situations or purchases to minimize taxes.

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phisher4 said:   I pay $450.  My taxes include multiple streams of income, including my full-time job with a K1/partnership statement, consulting work, investments, and many deductions.  

I know it's not the FW way to even *have* an accountant, but if you want/need one, please post:

How much do you pay?
And how did you select him/her?  

Many apologies if this has been discussed before.

  You're doing it wrong. I made a few hundred bucks with the H&R Block Amazon 10% refund rebate deal. That's the FWF way.

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$350 in the Chicago area - usual forms plus self-employment plus 10-99 contractor stuff, plus some investment accounts that include foreign tax reporting.

The logical side of me knows I could handle it myself if I took the time to figure out the complicated bits, but I'm good with it for the amount of time saved and knowing they have far less likelihood of effing it up than I would.

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$300. We have W2s, K1s, ESPP, RSU's, lots of deductions, etc. Seems well worth it.

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I've always done my own taxes, but finally went to a professional one year (some things I couldn't figure out).  It was through a recommendation and cost me about $400 (Bay Area).  The experience wasn't great - I felt like they made some small errors which made me question everything else.  I sat in the office for a long time while the accountant starting talking about random topics (like...the oddest possible topics possible).  I was also a little horrified (I'm paranoid about identity theft) to see that office was kinda messy and that the accountant kept their computer unlocked.  I had some follow-up questions after they completed my tax return, but response time was extremely slow.  I wasn't happy with the service and they refunded me a portion of the $400.  

That said, I got stuck again on this year's tax return and ended up filing an extension.  Does anyone here have any recommendations for someone in the Bay Area?  I'm a bit leery after my first/only experience, but I don't think I can figure this out on my own.  It's tough for me to go with recommendations from my network as folks aren't as financially savvy (otherwise they'd probably have done their own taxes).  They give positive feedback on their accountants, but when I ask how do they know their returns are correct, I'm answered back with a shrug.  I'd be a lot more comfortable with a referral from FW Finance, since you guys are the pros

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Just providing a number with no context in terms of the complexity of the return or what else they do for you is basically meaningless.

Also, I'm surprised by folks paying 175-300 with added multiple consulting calls over the course of the year. That probably works out to a lower hourly wage than a high school tutor.

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$550 for personal taxes. (I did it this year myself with TurboTax and saved $500)
$950 for S-Corp taxes.
We also pay them to do a bunch of other taxes and payroll taxes.
I think we spend anywhere between $2000 and $3000 per year. The accountant charges us hourly when we ask questions.

I am looking for a new accountant. I see some accountants have an S Corp package for about $2500 which is all inclusive for everything listed above. I am thinking of going that route.

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riznick said:   
$950 for S-Corp taxes.


I see some accountants have an S Corp package for about $2500 which is all inclusive for everything listed above. 

  what kind of business do you have that needs an s-corp

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I paid my CPA $400 last few years for return with 1 W2, few 1099s (INT and DIV) and 1 rental. I originally used him when I converted my primary to rental, but decided to keep using him since it was nice to feel confident about my returns and have someone I can send questions to (I have 1-2 general questions a year). For 2016, I added an additional rental property and he charged me $600 (no mention of the price until I got the bill). I found some mistakes on my return this year - primary property tax was $2000 off, dependent child care was incorrectly entered, and he misread a 3 as a 5 one of my rental property deductions. Definitely not happy about the return this year and the additional $200 he charged for adding the new rental. I even provided him the building/land value to help with the depreciation calculation. I provide all my expenses in a spreadsheet and filled out a tax planner or something like that to make his life much easier when typing in the values.

I agree with asnic that finding a good CPA with reasonable pricing is near impossible. All the friends I've asked have no clue about their returns and just say "my guy gets me $X back a year and I'm happy with him." Anyone have a referral for a CPA in SoCal?

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You can find online accountant freeelancer and they will offer a cheaper price.

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araknis said:   I paid my CPA $400 last few years for return with 1 W2, few 1099s (INT and DIV) and 1 rental. I originally used him when I converted my primary to rental, but decided to keep using him since it was nice to feel confident about my returns and have someone I can send questions to (I have 1-2 general questions a year). For 2016, I added an additional rental property and he charged me $600 (no mention of the price until I got the bill). I found some mistakes on my return this year - primary property tax was $2000 off, dependent child care was incorrectly entered, and he misread a 3 as a 5 one of my rental property deductions. Definitely not happy about the return this year and the additional $200 he charged for adding the new rental. I even provided him the building/land value to help with the depreciation calculation. I provide all my expenses in a spreadsheet and filled out a tax planner or something like that to make his life much easier when typing in the values.

I agree with asnic that finding a good CPA with reasonable pricing is near impossible. All the friends I've asked have no clue about their returns and just say "my guy gets me $X back a year and I'm happy with him." Anyone have a referral for a CPA in SoCal?

  Sounds like we're in a very similar boat.  I haven't even gotten to the point of worrying about pricing yet.  Still trying to hit the mark of simply finding a competent accountant, who does't make silly mistakes, and who doesn't leave their clients' tax forms in the car (one of my ex-coworkers CPA does this) or leaves their computers unlocked.  Sheesh.  Any referrals - PM them my way

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$625 for arriving at the same numbers that I got in TurboTax. I guess this was an experiment which won't be repeated.

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I do taxes on the side and I am super paranoid about my clients' personal information. BUT, the majority of them don't seem to be. I would pay for a secure digital repository for them to send me their forms encrypted, but it wouldn't be worth it since only a handful of my clients would use it. So I end up with their paperwork in manila envelopes all over my office.

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meade18 said:   I do taxes on the side and I am super paranoid about my clients' personal information. BUT, the majority of them don't seem to be. I would pay for a secure digital repository for them to send me their forms encrypted, but it wouldn't be worth it since only a handful of my clients would use it. So I end up with their paperwork in manila envelopes all over my office.
  
Strangely, a lot of folks don't seem to really care (or perhaps think) about identity theft.  

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$550, for my business tax

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$0 but sure was tempted this year to get one. First year filing married+separate in community property state CA with multiple streams of income was a pain and TurboTax and TaxAct was no where near as intuitive as it could have been to walk me through this.

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$425. Includes taxes for rental properties, consulting, side businesses.
Chosen because he's the same guy my dad uses. My dad's pretty frugal and wouldn't pay for something if not a quality service for a good price and he's always been happy.
Plus the guy knows my dad's estate plans and using him will eventually make my life easier.

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asnlc said:   
meade18 said:   I do taxes on the side and I am super paranoid about my clients' personal information. BUT, the majority of them don't seem to be. I would pay for a secure digital repository for them to send me their forms encrypted, but it wouldn't be worth it since only a handful of my clients would use it. So I end up with their paperwork in manila envelopes all over my office.
  
Strangely, a lot of folks don't seem to really care (or perhaps think) about identity theft.  

  
Indeed. If I even get a magaine or advertisement in the mail with my name and address on it I cut out the name/address and shred it while recycling the overall Ad. Maybe I'm just paranoid though...


As far as taxes, I do my own. But that's mostly because I take the standard deduction, I don't have rental property, and I don't have any taxable investments yet. I'm just now getting to the point where I can safely max out 2x ROTH IRA's, 2x 401k's, and an HSA. 

Also given my stupid low property value on my home (intended, we live well below our means for our first home), even with property taxes and mortgage interest we get no where near the married standard deduction. I predict that as we start getting more comfortable with finances and I start branching out with investments and property that I will be able to do enough research to do this stuff on my own.

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riznick said:   $550 for personal taxes. (I did it this year myself with TurboTax and saved $500)
$950 for S-Corp taxes.
We also pay them to do a bunch of other taxes and payroll taxes.
I think we spend anywhere between $2000 and $3000 per year. The accountant charges us hourly when we ask questions.

I am looking for a new accountant. I see some accountants have an S Corp package for about $2500 which is all inclusive for everything listed above. I am thinking of going that route.

  This is more along the lines of what I was expecting to see. I'm really surprised by all of the low numbers. Then again, I'm also surprised by the percentage of the population that pays for return preparation.

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