Fees for new tax return clients are fixed before there is any obligation to pay. I can set my fee in advance, after you send me a copy of last year's returns with an explanation of any relevant changes and questions. Fees for existing tax return clients are usually the same as the prior year plus a small inflationary adjustment. If you had any unusual transactions or changes in circumstances your fee will be adjusted accordingly (up or down).
The amount of your income is usually a good indication of the amount of time and complexity involved in the preparation of your tax returns. To give you an idea:
- A retired taxpayer with adjusted gross income under $50,000 might expect a fee of between $250 and $350.
- A NYC taxpayer with income between $50,000 and $100,000 would pay about $500.
- If your income is over $100,000 but less than $250,000 your fee would probably be in the range of $500 to $1,000.
- If your income is over $250,000 your minimum fee would be $1,000.
Other matters, such as Will drafting, Tax Court litigation, IRS representation, consulting and other services are billed on an hourly basis. Wealthy taxpayers are billed at the rate of $275 per hour. I understand that not everyone can afford this rate so I will negotiate this rate downward in appropriate circumstances.
There are lawyers and accountants here in New York City who charge twice as much as I do. However, with my education, background, and experience I believe I can do twice the work in half the time.
One last word on fees: You have a much better chance of negotiating a lower fee if your information is organized and you present it to me in February as opposed to bringing me a shopping bag full of documents on April 14th.