Tax Preparation Fee Schedule – How Much Would it Cost?

tax preparation fee schedule

Yes, we’re discussing taxes, particulary tax preparation fee schedule.


Finding a tax advisor may be our last hope this tax season for those of us who would rather spend our weekends at the park with the kids or, honestly, anyplace else but at a desk with tax forms and schedules.

How much does it cost to hire a professional to do your taxes? Let’s look at it more closely to see what we can learn.

Tax Preparation Fee Schedule – How Much Would it Cost?

The quick answer is that it is debatable. The longer answer is that the cost of filing your taxes with a tax professional varies greatly based on a number of factors. When talking about your tax preparation fee plan, keep this in mind.

A simple tax form preparation costs around $220.1 on average. This fee covers a standard 1040 and state return with no itemised deductions. But don’t get too carried away with that figure just yet.


While the national average is a reasonable starting point, several factors influence the final price. Tax preparation fee schedule can range from $200 to $600 or more, depending on how complicated your tax situation is, where you live, and how your tax professional charges for services.

As you consider how much to spend on your tax file and your tax preparation fee schedule, consider the following four questions:

1. How qualified do you want your professional to be?

A tax preparer with moderate experience will charge less than a high-quality advisor with extensive expertise. However, depending on your personal position, the stakes can be high when it comes to the IRS and your money.

Don’t get us wrong: we’re not saying this to brag. We care about saving money as much as you do. When it comes to hiring specialists, such as tax advisors, doctors, and mechanics, we’re all for paying a little more money to get the job done well. If the expert is comprehensive and precise, paying an extra $100–300 up front could save you a lot of money in the long run. Keep in mind that we’re discussing estimates, so modify your professional expectations accordingly.

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2. How organized are your taxes?

If you show up at a lawyer’s office with crumpled receipts strewn around your pockets and manila folders bulging with disorganised paperwork, you’ll almost certainly be charged a high price. Our rule of thumb is that the more organised you are, the less work a tax professional will have to do. As a result, the final cost will be reduced.

3. Where do you live?

The cost of engaging a tax professional varies from state to state. On the Pacific Coast, for example, you can expect to pay more than average, whereas in the South, you can expect to pay less. 2

The following are the average tax preparation fees in each location for an itemised 1040 with a Schedule A and state return:

  • New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT): $285
  • Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA): $303
  • South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV): $339
  • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN): $217
  • West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX): $313
  • East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI): $273
  • West North Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD): $267
  • Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY): $310
  • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA): $432

You’ll notice that all of these averages are more than the $220 mentioned earlier; this is because many folks who engage a tax professional have more complicated situations than the typical 1040 can handle. In either case, expect a minor price difference depending on the pro’s quality, the locality, and your individual requirements.

4. How complicated are your taxes?

Let’s be honest: if you just want a basic tax return, you could definitely get away with paying anything close to the minimum. However, the more intricate your tax situation is, the longer your return will take to prepare. And we all know how valuable time is.

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Consider the following scenario: you have a side business. In addition to your normal 1040, you’ll need to itemise deductions and file a Schedule C form. The typical cost in this scenario is roughly $515.

How Do Tax Advisors Set Their Prices?

When you meet with a tax counsellor for the first time, make important to inquire about how they will bill you. You don’t want any surprises, so don’t keep it a secret! Typically, a tax counsellor will use one of the following five methods:

1. For each tax form or schedule, they charge a predetermined price.

There are no ifs, ands, or buts! They charge a one-time cost for each form or schedule. If you’re curious about how much it costs to file popular forms, here’s a breakdown:

  • $323 for a Form 1040 with a Schedule A and state return
  • $220 for a Form 1040 (non-itemized) and state return
  • $192 for Schedule C (business)
  • $118 for Schedule D (gains and losses)
  • $145 for Schedule E (rental)
  • $200 for Schedule F (farm)

2. They charge a fee that matches what you paid the year before.

You’ll often get a matched rate if you work with the same tax counsel year after year. That means your tax advisor will charge you the same as last year, or maybe extra if your tax situation has gotten more complicated.

3. They charge a flat rate plus an additional fee if your taxes are complicated.

Some consultants charge a set cost, but if you make them think too hard, they’ll have to increase their fee to compensate for their time. Ask your advisor whether there are any additional expenses than the fixed rate up front.

4. They charge a value-based fee—a price based on feeling.

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“Your taxes feel like they’ll cost $350,” some tax consultants will say. It’s easy to understand how value-based fees could lead to disagreements. Advisors, on the other hand, do this every day, and they’re used to quoting fees that reflect the amount of effort they’ll need to put in.

5. They charge an hourly rate.

If your tax advisor charges by the hour, find out how much they charge and how much time they plan to spend on your taxes before you hire them. Depending on the type of tax forms you need to file, a tax professional will typically charge an hourly fee of $100–200. 6 You won’t end up with a large bill if they can complete your taxes in less time.

Where Can You Find a Trustworthy Tax Advisor?

Compare the tax preparation fee schedule or cost to a haircut—a simple haircut can be had for a very modest cost. Sure, it’s not the nicest haircut you’ve ever gotten, but you can’t complain for $10.

You must now spend extra if you want to hire a skilled stylist—someone who places a warm cloth on the back of your neck, massages your scalp, gives you a superb haircut, and properly styles it before you leave.

Tax advisors are in the same boat. If you pay approximately $220, you’ll likely receive an average tax preparer who may or may not be able to assist you collect all of the deductions you’re entitled to. However, for a small fee, you may hire a reputable tax counsellor who is concerned about your position, assists you in understanding tax changes, and guarantees that you receive the maximum refund this year.

If you’re looking for a tax advisor, for tax preparation fee schedule, be sure to consider the points raised in this article. We’d appreciate your support for sharing this article if you found it helpful.

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