Individual Tax Preparation

Find a tax preparer near Durham, NC

Find a tax preparer near Durham, NC

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Top 10 Tax Preparers near Durham, NC

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.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a tax preparer when social distancing?

If you decide to hire a tax preparer near you, ask if the tax preparation can be handled remotely. Most accounting firms and tax preparers may be willing to offer this. Before you hire a tax preparer, contact them and ask about their procedure for working virtually. 

How can I find out if a tax preparer os considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

To find out which services are deemed essential in your area, visit the official government website of your state or city and look for information about essential services.

For information on a national level, visit CISA’s publication on critical infrastructure workers. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

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.

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.

Do tax preparers offer remote or virtual services?

Contact local CPAs or tax professionals to see if they can offer their services without in-person contact. Many firms can operate remotely or virtually, and others that typically operate face-to-face may be changing their procedures to keep up with social distancing guidelines. 

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 Durham tax preparers
Thumbtack Customer
My tax preparer was excellent! Very professional. I am recommending her to two friends!
A Professional Touch Business and Tax ServiceA Professional Touch Business and Tax Service
Justin W.
Clay prepared our federal and state taxes. He was very thorough and timely and made the process very easy for us.
W. Clay Blue, Jr., CPAW. Clay Blue, Jr., CPA
Amanda G.
This was, by far, the best experience that I have ever had with tax preparation services. Not only was Dane very professional and knowledgeable, his response time was great. He was also very patient with me. He allowed me to ask all of the questions I needed answers to and explained things very clearly to me. The service I received with Boundless Tax is unmatched and I look forward to working with them again next year!
Boundless TaxBoundless Tax
Thumbtack Customer
My husband and I relocated to NC in October following a house sale. This made filing our taxes considerably more challenging than previous years, especially considering that we had to file multiple state tax returns. Mr. Blue was fantastically patient with us, allowing us to send documents electronically and handle the entire preparation without having to meet, face to face. This was important, considering the lateness with which we prepared to file and the busyness of our lives. His professionalism and skill was amazingly helpful at a fair price. Most importantly when we made this decision, he was close enough that we could have met face to face if needed.
W. Clay Blue, Jr., CPAW. Clay Blue, Jr., CPA
Oscar H.
Extremely Professional as well as Knowledgeable concerning IRS tax preparation. Could be a wee bit daunting for those who are less than proficient in computer skills. But, he will gladly walk you through any questions or difficulties with patience. Will be utilizing his services again in the coming days! Competitively priced, excellent value for the money.
BRODIE CPA, PLLCBRODIE CPA, PLLC
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