- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
It's not easy to understand how prices get set. Most accounting firms charge by the hour, but most tax firms charge by the form. More forms or more complex forms take longer and not only require more attention to detail but more specialized knowledge. I built a series of packages that work for 90% of my clients. My fees will never be lower than some "advertised" prices, but my pricing is all inclusive. The more accurate the information you provide, the more accurate the quote I can give you. Over the years I have learned that most misunderstandings can be avoided with open and honest communication. My basic fee is $299 and that covers most joint returns for the IRS and MA including interest and dividends, Social Security and pensions, including e-Signature and e-Filing. Of course, if you itemize deductions, are self employed, own rental real estate, trade stock or receive income from a trust,, it is more complex. If you have more than one state or more than one year to prepare, or need a return corrected, it will also take longer. How much does longer cost? Lets talk!
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I ask clients to bring last year's return and this year's documents; if you used TurboTax, I can upload your .tax file into my software. If you have a paper return, I will review it and ask questions. Some clients want to drop off their forms and come back later. Others want to wait while I complete their return. If everything is consistent with the last year, I check for errors electronically. In some cases, I will have questions regarding the previous year's return; I may identify an error and suggest an amended return. In every case, I will review the complete return with my client before filing electronically (current years only).
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have prepared taxes professionally for over 20 years. For my first ten years, I worked for a large national firm and prepared about 500 returns a season. Later, I went through an intensive training program and became licensed by the IRS as an Enrolled Agent, authorized to prepare taxes in all 50 states and represent taxpayers before the IRS or US Tax Court. I am also a Certified Financial Planner Practitioner, which enables me to combine tax and financial planning to help my clients achieve long term financial goals. (Investment services provided through Avantax Financial, and all further information and important disclosures are found on my website.)