How Much Does It Cost To Get My Return Prepared?
We ca provide a very rough estimtate based upon looking at prior year's tax returns and to the extent the current year's return will be similar to those. However, there are many other variables that can impact the cost of preparing your tax return, such as:
1) The complexity of the forms required in your tax return;
2) Any need for tax research related to your return;
3) How you organize and provide your records to us;
4) The time spent following up on your tax return; and
numerous other factors involved in preparing your return.
However, there are many ways you can control the cost of preparing your tax return.
1) Read and follow any directions we give to you in providing your tax records as well as filing your tax return. In the time pressed world of today, many of us glance through the instructions provide to us. However, the time saved not reading istructions thoroughly is usually lost wih the need to re-request the same instruction or require excessive follow up.
2) As much as is reasonable, provide us with complete tax documents al at once. We understand that some documents may arrive later in the tax season, making it difficult to provide all tax documents at once. However, the fewer interactions needed to collect and provide your tax documents, the less administrative tracking needed to mitigate any confusion on what tax douments we have and what is still required to complete the return. Providing tax documents in a piecemeal manner can easily double or triple the amount of work needed to complete your tax return.
3) Provide us with copies of your tax documents. If we have copies of your tax documets, we can scan them and then shred them at our discretion. This allows us to protect your tax information from unnecessary disclosure. However, holding originals would require securing them and making arrangements for pickup or delivery to you.
4) Provide a reasonable amount of time to prepare your return. Bring tax documents early in the year and being proactive with third parties, such as mortgage brokers, who may need a copy of your return helps get your return completed in a more cost effective manner. However, waiting until the last month before the filing deadline naturally creates a time crunch in getting tax returns completed timely. Additionally, requests to rush prepare a return to meet a loan refinancing deadline or college funding deadline also adds time and cost to preparing a return.
5) Make completing your tax return a priority. In many cases, there will be additionally follow up requests as we prepare the return. The longer you wait to respond to these additonal requests, the more time we need to take to re-familiarize ourselves with your tax return once we get responses. Similarly, once we have completed your tax return, it helps tremendously to review it and provide any signatures needed as soon as possible to file your return.
6) Work with admistrative staff as much as possible. Working with my administrative staff allows me to stay focused on the more technical services. Scheduling appointments, dropping off documents, paig outstanding invoices, and various other administrative tasks are much better managed by them.
7) Communicate in detail with us. We try to prioritize clients' needs as much as possible. This typically requires specific information regarding your inquiry, such as:
a. Your full name;
b. A contact phone number;
c. A contact email;
d. A brief message regarding your inquiry.
This allows us to review your file, perform any preliminary research needed, prepare a response via email or phone, or delegate the inquiry to administrative staff.
8) Pay your invoice timely. Many times clients are rushed to sign the appropriate documents to authorize us to file the return. However, additional follow up is needed to process payment. This takes us away from client projects.
9) Other Additional Costs To Consider
a. Working with third parties to explain your tax return, such as mortgage brokers, college funding offices, etc.;
b. Providing copies of your tax returns and oher records that you already have in your possession and/or are on the CFS portal;
c. If you file an extension and need an estimate on what to pay with the extension, additional tax calculations and efforts are needed to provide that;
d. Providing any special calculations for estimate payments in the coming tax year;
e. Revisions of tax returns once the return has been provided to you;
f. Amended returns due to cleint errror;
g. Responding to and/or resolving IRS notices due to client or IRS errors.