Not all tax preparers are created equal. The IRS only requires a $63 fee and minimal requirements (such as not being a convicted felon) to register as a “Tax Preparer.” A CPA on the other hand must meet rigorous education requirements (150 hours of post-secondary education), pass the CPA examination, and complete 120 hours of additional education every three years.

Additionally, we will be here all year round. If you have questions during the year we are always a phone call or email away. If you are audited a CPA can represent you before the IRS. Or if you change jobs and have question about rolling over your 401K, etc… We will be happy to assist you as you manage life’s financial challenges throughout the year.

BUT MY RETURN IS SIMPLE. A CPA WILL BE TOO EXPENSIVE.

Having your returned prepared by a franchise tax office such as Liberty Tax or H&R Block is no bargain. Many franchise office returns are prepared by an employee with as few as 50 hours of classroom instruction and 21 hours of online course work. And if you have questions in July, the office will likely be closed. However, the average fee for a return prepared by H&R Block in 2013 was $198 and $180 for Liberty Tax. Additionally there may be more fees for “audit protection” and electronic filing. Having your return prepared by a CPA firm is also not as expensive as you might think. The average cost of a 2013 Federal from 1040 with Itemized deductions and a state return was $261 according to a survey by the National Society of Accountants. Fees for non-itemized returns were even lower with an average of $152.

The survey also reported the average fees for preparing other Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms, including:

  • $218 for a Form 1040 Schedule C (business)
  • $590 for a Form 1065 (partnership)
  • $806 for a Form 1120 (corporation)
  • $761 for a Form 1120S (S corporation)
  • $497 for a Form 1041 (fiduciary)
  • $142 for Schedule D (gains and losses)
  • $165 for Schedule E (rental)
  • $196 for Schedule F (farm)

The average cost for a Federal 1040 with Itemized deductions and a state return in the West South Central Region (AR, LA, OK, TX) was $242.

At Joseph P. Norman CPA we have over 75 years of accounting and tax experience. We believe our fees are very competitive and appropriate. If you have any questions about your bill please don’t hesitate to ask and we will explain the factors that were considered when determining your fees. We appreciate your business and always strive to provide knowledgeable, prompt, and reliable service. If you feel we have let you down in any regard please let us know so that we can address your concerns and achieve a resolution that will benefit all parties. We understand that responsiveness and personal attention to every client are critical to our shared success.

Thank you for the opportunity to assist you with your tax return preparation this year and please don’t hesitate to contact us should you need additional advice or assistance at any time.

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