Tax return cost?

I get this question a lot from new people - 

Our mission statement is:

We strive to ensure that every client who works with us becomes more wealthy because of it” - but not everyone cares about that. I will be be happy to give you a price, but first, I may be able to help save both of our time, and you may decide that you may not need me.

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT IT BEFORE WE CAN PRICE IT - it is the only fair way. Some claim you can call, but they often just prepare you for the ole' "Bait & Switch".

If your tax guy is important to you - take a minute and read on...

My business plan was never to strive to earn the least amount of money per tax return prepared, but it has always been to be one of the best. Maybe you appreciate honesty.

If you are really just shopping for price, and you know you have no investment, business, inheritance issues, real estate questions or other tax problems, - and likely never will, you don’t really need a full time tax pro – maybe a CPA who keeps books during the year and moonlights during tax season, or any tax prepararer who keeps up now and then will likely do just fine. I would be very disappointed in myself if after 40 years in business that my clients insisted that my fees must be the lowest in my profession.

If you are looking for the cheapest way to get your taxes prepared, we have a few ideas for you.

The lowest prices are usually offered by part-timers who do other things in the "off season". Taxes are like any other trade or profession; the unlicensed and inexperienced usually offer the lowest prices. Will they be there later if you need them? Will it be done correctly? Will they know what you can do to save taxes? Maybe.

Craigslist also always has some people offering tax prep services. Don’t forget you can also do your taxes for free (or nearly free) with many accurate on-line tax software programs. They work fine.

Tax situations differ, what seems “just a standard tax return” for one, is not for another. How much is the standard price for fixing a car? We always look under the hood first to know what issues we will face.

All this said, we do offer reasonable fees and excellent service, and a very thorough completed package (the prettiest in town) of all copies for you, - which will be the envy of all your friends.

If you want a price you will have to come in to my office in Milton or Perdido and I will be happy to have a look at it - about 10 minutes – or you could PDF me a copy of your previous tax returns noting any changes you incurred. It is the only way to do it right. You will not get an estimate, you will get an exact cost.

Call the office (850-665-3666) or email again if you want to schedule a time for me to look at it – about ten minutes is usually enough for me.

Thanks for your inquiry.

Good luck to you and may your tax liability be light...


Christopher M. Barra, MS, EA