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Tax Preparation Services Cost Guide

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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.  

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Reviews for Ashburn tax preparers
Angela W.
Ramy is truly wonderful. I found him on line. I did tons of research trying to find someone to do my taxes that I could truly trust to do an excellent and thorough job and not charge me a fortune. I am so grateful I chose Ramy. He completed my taxes in two days! Once completed I felt 100% confident about the work he provided. He is extremely professional, intelligent, knowledgeable and courteous. I am so grateful to God for putting him in my life. I will never prepare my taxes myself ever again. Thank you Ramy!!!
GAM-ACCOUNTINGGAM-ACCOUNTING
Aida D.
I picked Mac Reed based on the good reviews he had. His website was easy to navigate and I was able to schedule a meeting for the very next day to get us started with our business tax returns. He was polite, knowledgeable and was able to answer all my questions. His online system made it easy to upload documents, input the information, and review the prepared returns. After a quick review call where he answered more of my questions the returns were completed. His work quality is really good and the most important his availability was ample so we could complete the project on time. Thank you Mac! See you next year!
Mac Reed, EA, MSAMac Reed, EA, MSA
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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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