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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a tax preparer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to conduct an appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic is virtually, as this will ensure that you remain within the CDC's social distancing guidelines.

Ask tax professional near you if they would be willing to give a consultation via phone call, Zoom, Skype or other video conferencing software to discuss the scope of work. Also, ask them how they handle payments and whether they will be able to conduct all of their services remotely.

How much does it cost to get taxes done?

Hiring a professional to help with income tax preparation can be priceless. Pro help can mean no mistakes and a maximized tax return. The cost to get your income taxes done depends on the professional you hire. Tax attorneys or in-demand CPAs will often have the highest rates for their services. Next in the pricing tier are enrolled agents, who will usually have higher rates than individuals solely working with a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). Nationally, the average cost of income tax preparation ranges from $150 to $190. Income tax preparation prices can also vary based on where you live and the complexity of your tax returns. Here are some examples of average income tax preparation prices from an enrolled agent:  

  • Taxpayers filing only a W-2 tax form: $50.
  • Taxpayers filing a W-2 along with additional tax forms such 1099-INT and 1098-E: $150.
  • Taxpayers with several tax forms and one or two additional considerations such as a rental property, investment transactions, K-1 income, 1099-MISC or a simple small business: $225.
  • Taxpayers with multiple activities (rentals, K-1 income, small business, etc.), several stock transactions and more: $395.

Nationally, the average hourly rate nationally for a tax prep professional ranges between $150 and $450.  

Is it better to have a CPA do your taxes?

Hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) could be a better option instead of doing your taxes by yourself, but it depends on your tax situation and preferences. Having a CPA do your taxes is usually recommended if you have a business or any type of side job, or if you’ve been contacted by the IRS for a tax-related matter. Others who can benefit are those who own rental properties or have many assets. You can also hire a CPA if you need help understanding what deductions or credit you might qualify for.

What is a tax preparer called?

A tax preparer can take the form of several different job titles, but they must have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to be authorized to prepare federal tax returns, according to the IRS. Some titles may include enrolled agents, who are licensed by the IRS, as well as certified public accountants (CPAs). Some tax attorneys may offer tax preparation and planning services, though not all are qualified to do this.

Is it worth it to pay someone to do your taxes?

There are several reasons it could be worth it to have an experienced professional do your taxes instead of self-filing. For example, it can help reduce the chance of you making a mistake that could land you in trouble with the IRS. And, it could save you time for other important tasks. If you have a side job, rental property or many assets, having someone do your taxes can pay off in the short- and long-run.

Contact several tax professionals near you to discuss your needs and get free estimates. Then, decide if hiring a pro is right for you.

Does a tax preparer need to enter my home?

It is not typically necessary for a tax preparer to enter your home. Many CPAs and tax professionals operate remotely. Ask the tax professional if they can conduct their services remotely, and see what precautions they have in place during social distancing.

Can I use digital payments to pay for tax preparation services?

Before you hire a tax professional, visit their business profile to see how they handle payments. Many CPAs and tax experts accept digital payments through Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash, Zelle and other online platforms. More businesses may be changing their payment methods to accommodate social distancing. Check with your tax preparer to see how they handle payments. 

Reviews for Ashburn tax preparers
Thumbtack Customer
Tax preparation was smooth sailing all the way.
Jofi Joseph CPA Tax ServicesJofi Joseph CPA Tax Services
Paul J.
Fidelis quickly prepared my tax returns for this year. This was my first time having a professional prepare my taxes and I liked the ease of having him do it for me. He made it clear how to handle my taxes in relation to my financial situation. I was impressed with how quickly it was all completed.
Fidelis CPAFidelis CPA
Elena M.
Ms. Shaunte is a GEM! She responded to me within minutes of any requested, she was extremely fast with my tax preparation and made sure I get the biggest refund possible. I know who is going to prepare my taxes next year :) thanks a million! Strongly recommended to anyone who is in need of tax services!
Green Financial Services, LLCGreen Financial Services, LLC
Susan B.
Jeremy was great! I needed a tax preparer at the last minute and he came through, got the job done and got my taxes filed in time. He made the process easy. Very responsive.
JBJ Tax & Accounting ServicesJBJ Tax & Accounting Services
Ritchie M.
I highly recommend JCC for your tax preparation needs. Very professional, courteous, and respectful. Overall, great experience from start to finish!
JCC & Associates LLCJCC & Associates LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Jofi helped us prepare some tax returns. He was very accommodating, and finished our work quickly. He took the time to maximize our return.
Jofi Joseph CPA Tax ServicesJofi Joseph CPA Tax Services
John B.
Best tax experience ever. Referred our son to get a 2nd opinion on a return prepared elsewhere. GFS found a $1,500 error in his favor. Highly recommend!
Green Financial Services, LLCGreen Financial Services, LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Great experience. Our usual tax preparer retired and we needed a replacement at the 11th hour. Jofi offered his services at a reasonable price after his review of our tax situation. We had one face-to-face with Jofi where we provided our tax information and he asked additional questions. He kept us informed during the development of our return, asking questions as he went. He was very knowledgeable and very courteous in all our dealings. I could recommend him to anyone looking for someone to prepare a return.
Jofi Joseph CPA Tax ServicesJofi Joseph CPA Tax Services
Gina H.
I had an exceptional customer experience. The service was outstanding. Serena prepared my taxes quickly and accurately and gave great advice. She was a pleasure to work with. I will definitely be back.
Fi-Tech Business SolutionsFi-Tech Business Solutions
Ilya B.
I had a fantastic experience with The Bridge CPAs in every respect. Mr. Teshome is clearly knowledgeable in all aspects of the US tax code, but it is his forthcoming character, his commitment to getting my taxes done in the most thorough detailed manner, the clarity of his explanation, and his honest transparent approach to the whole process that makes me want to recommend his service to anyone needing tax preparation. I am grateful to Thumbtack for connecting me to this outstanding professional!
The Bridge CPAs, LLCThe Bridge CPAs, LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Lakshmi's group has prepared our taxes twice, and it's been a dream of an experience both times. Efficient process, clear communication, prompt and responsive to questions - couldn't have been an easier or more pleasant expeirence.
Money Equations Inc.Money Equations Inc.
Thumbtack Customer
I am terribly delayed in writing this review. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Amber. She was punctual and extremely patient with my many balls that I was juggling while having my taxes prepared. I would strongly recommend her services to others.
Proffitt & Associates - DCProffitt & Associates - DC
Thumbtack Customer
I could not have been more pleased with the services provided by George Dimov, CPA, especially because of the short amount of time I gave him to prepare my extended federal and state income taxes. My situation was difficult with very little time to resolve. He and I worked virtually - sometimes sending and receiving information into the early morning hours until the job was accomplished. He is dedicated to his customers needs, efficient and a very knowledgeable professional and that I would highly recommend to anyone who has a complex Income Tax situation or challenging accounting need. I will be requesting his services again for the 2016 tax 'season' - sooner than the last one.
George Dimov, CPAGeorge Dimov, CPA
Chris F.
I discovered Assel through Thumbtack and what a gem! 2019 was my first year owning my LLC and as a new business owner my methods were terrible. I arrived at our appointment carrying W2 issued tax forms, a folder of receipts and 2 separate sets of bank statements. Assel started at the beginning and methodically worked her way through my information, first creating a P&L sheet then transferring data to my Schedule C. Working non stop throughout the afternoon she prepared the best tax return money can buy and found me my maximum refund. I can't say enough about her patience, detail and dedication. I recommend her to everyone from established business owners to individuals trying to find the best tax service possible. Thank you for everything and I'll see you next year!!
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Why you should hire a tax preparer

We get it — filing taxes can be overwhelming, confusing and tedious. But many tax preparers, including certified public accountants (CPAs) and tax attorneys, can guide you through this process to make sure it’s done right and save you stress. Reach out to the best tax preparers in your area to learn more about their expertise and services. You can also ask for free cost estimates before you hire a tax preparation service near you.

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