How much do you pay a tax preparer?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Lisa_M, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Lisa_M

    Lisa_M DIS Veteran

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    Last year, we used Turbo Tax and it was fine. We have a low income and only had education, student loan interest and charitable contribution deductions. This year, we just have student loan interest and donations to deduct. I bought TaxCut, but I am thinking about going to an accountant instead. I did some contract work that I had to fill out a 1099 for and I have no idea what kind of tax implications that work is going to have (I didn't make much). Plus our income is low. I have no idea how we paid the bills we did and no we are not on any assistance.

    Long story short, how expensive is it to get help with this sort of thing and does anyone know anything about this 1099 stuff (do I get any sort of form back from the "employer?" I am a tax dummy. Also, how do you find a good, honest and trustworthy accountant? We don't know anyone here so we can't get recommendations.
     
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  3. FoundMyPrince

    FoundMyPrince DIS Veteran

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    Our accountant charges $110 each year. I don't know if this is high/low, but he's trustworthy. We have some unique tax challenges and I don't/can't do our taxes by ourselves any longer.
     
  4. Colinsmom

    Colinsmom DIS Veteran

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    I've had it done by a few different accountants, but only in years that are a little more complicated (got married, etc.). I've never paid less than $300, and once was charged $700 (but complained loudly to get it back down to the $300 that they originally quoted me).
     
  5. ReneeQ

    ReneeQ DIS Veteran

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    We paid $190 last year. We've used the same accountant for about 8 years, and I think the price has increased about $5 each year. I don't think our taxes are too complicated. DH does work in South Carolina, and we live in Georgia, and I know that requires some extra paperwork. I'm just thrilled to not have to deal with it. Everyone says I could do it with TurboTax, but I look at the accountant as the gift I give myself each year.
     
  6. staceyfe

    staceyfe DIS Veteran

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    Your best bet is word of mouth. Talk to everyone you know to see who does their taxes. I found a great tax preparer (NOT an accountant, but a bookkeeper w/ 20 years experience) and I feel very confident she knows her stuff. Heck, I knew my stuff until my DH opened his own business, then I didn't feel comfortable doing our taxes anymore. We paid her $130 last year to do federal and state taxes, which included our small business stuff. That's about as cheap as it gets, I believe!
     
  7. kctwinmommy

    kctwinmommy <font color=red> I don't think I say anything cute

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    We pay I think $60 for ours. And the year that DH spent activated in Florida for the military, she did it for free. She also does a lot of the village workers for the town she lives in, so I'm pretty sure she's doing things right! LOL!
     
  8. Lisa_M

    Lisa_M DIS Veteran

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    Wow, I definitely could not afford what most of you pay for it. I'm just afraid to do it wrong and end getting us audited, but I certaintly can't afford hundreds of dollars to have my taxes done. Heck, I think I only made about 5k last year. Oh dilemnas, dilemnas....
     
  9. IDoDis

    IDoDis Knows the password to get into the Moose Lodge

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    Then just stick with Turbo Tax. Tax Cut is horrible! I tried them once and had to pay $300 more than usual. I was thinking WTH? I figured it was an off year, but then heard from other friends who said they didn't do as well with Tax Cut, either. Turbo Tax wll guide you through the process and will ask you questions to determine what you need to claim. I would stay away from Tax Cut though.
     
  10. Green Tea

    Green Tea <font color=green>I don't do hatchets<br><font col

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    You situation doesn't sound like you need an accountant. The tax software like TT or TaxCut can handle most returns.
     
  11. comicguy

    comicguy DIS Veteran

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    I use to use a national tax preparation service until about 4 years ago when they charged me 175 dollars to do our taxes(nothing special 2 W-2's, student loan and mortgage interest, and charity deduction) They were done with my taxes in about 10 mins. Did I throw a fit, they dropped it to 150, I paid it told them that I would never return to them as a customer, and I have been using Turbo Tax since and have loved it. So for 25.00 a year I can do my own taxes, efile, and get a direct deposit. Gotta love that:goodvibes

    TT asks you the questions and you just type the info and your done.
     
  12. Lisa_M

    Lisa_M DIS Veteran

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    maybe I'll go back to Turbo Tax. I bought Tax Cut this year since I got a good deal, but if TT is better, I should probably go back to that. It worked flawlessly (or so I think) for us last year.
     
  13. heartsy77

    heartsy77 I'm turning 40 in Disney!

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    I just paid ours 450! I cringe every year but since I am self employed ( scheduled c, 8829, etc. and DH has a W-2 , 3 lousy weeks of unemployment and retirement credit and they charge by the form, so we are stuck! I just can't bring myself to use a program at home; I make myself feel better by reminding myself that at least I can write a portion of my tax prep off as a business deduction!
     
  14. ctinct

    ctinct DIS Veteran

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    OP, you sound like you have a fairly simple tax return. Do you qualify for free e-file through the IRS site? I have done mine this way for several years, and like you I have charitable deductions, student loans, and a lower income, but I also have home mortgage/interest, a child to claim every other year, and alimony. I never have had a problem. In fact, I like to do my taxes myself on paper first, and one year the program I used alerted me to another deduction I was entitled to. You can also run your numbers through several of the free programs up to the point of submitting your taxes to see if they all come up with the same figures--that might help set your mind at ease.
     
  15. LSchrow

    LSchrow <font color=green>We're eating brussel sprouts & a

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    wow! $300 & $400+?!
    we pay our accountant about $150 for our rtns (fed & state). he's been doing them for the almost 25 years we've been married (25 years on may 1st :lovestruc ~ btw, he was the one who introduced DH to me :thumbsup2 ).
    we can do so much ourselves around the house without hiring outside help (DH does much of the home improvements & maint, i do the household accting, PC repairs/upgrades, etc ~ plus we both work full time), tax prep is one job i would rather leave to a professional tho (& it gives us the excuse to meet with an old, dear friend once a year:) )
     
  16. starwood

    starwood This mouse GOT her next cruise

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    I'm lucky - I don't pay anything. DH works for H&R Block during tax season so he can file ours for free.
     
  17. bdcp

    bdcp DIS Veteran

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    Most people who work at tax preparation services are seasonal and do not have any more tax knowledge than anyone else. They basically input numbers the way you would do with turbo tax or any other tax software. If you have a really complicated issue, then I would find a tax accountant who is up on the latest tax law. Also, anyon working for themselves should be doing quarterly taxes. Our incomes are pretty high and we have two mortgages (first + equity line), three incomes (DH is a reservist and we end up getting all of our SS back that he pays for that), investments, one in college and charitable giving. We do it all on Turbo tax and it's very easy as it just walks you through. You answer questions and it directs you to what else you need to do.
     
  18. bigbabyblues

    bigbabyblues DIS Veteran

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    We pay $75 for ours. It's a friend though, he's a CPA and does personal returns on the side.
     
  19. cbrfan

    cbrfan DIS Veteran

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    We use a CPA and he charges us $165.
     
  20. abeyst

    abeyst DIS Veteran

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    I pay nothing as I do it myself online though irs.gov's efile. If your income is low enough or you're in the military you can file for free. It's the same or similar tax prep software you can buy at the store.

    1099 forms are nothing to worry about needing a tax preparer for. It's just additional untaxed income you'll have to declare on your 1040. The tax software will ask you if you have any 1099s and walk you through the entry.
     
  21. disneynewbee

    disneynewbee DIS Veteran

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    We pay about $300 but we get a huge refund and can call our accountant any time of the year for financial advice for no extra charge.
     

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