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How much does Tax Preparation cost?

Average Price
$170 - $250

What is the price of Tax Preparation?

Ready to file your taxes? Read our handy guide to find out how much your tax preparer will charge for their services.

What is Tax Preparation?

If you need help filing your taxes, then it’s time to consult a professional. Tax preparers come in the form of attorneys, accountants, and more. 

Tax preparation involves collecting all of the information relating to your business or personal income. It will be used to determine how much tax you need to pay to the government. Plus, to check what money you may be owed back too. 

Your accountant will help you create a record of your expenses, and ensure all the forms you need to file are completed correctly. 

How much does Tax Preparation cost? 

The cost of tax preparation ranges between $170 and $250 on average. For more complex cases, or if you opt for the top professionals, expect to pay $454 and above.

Average cost of Tax Preparation
Average cost$250
Minimum cost$170
Maximum cost$454

While the cost of hiring a tax preparer may seem expensive, compared with filing your own taxes, it will save you a lot of time and hassle. Plus, given it’s so easy to make mistakes, it’s always worth having a professional take care of your taxes for you. 

Given one of the goals of tax preparation is also to look for savings, you will likely find that the investment will actually save you money overall. 

What changes the price of Tax Preparation? 

The cost of tax preparation varies depending on several factors, including:

  • Type of tax preparer

  • Complexity of return

  • Income level

  • Quality of bookkeeping

  • Additional services

  • Time

  • Experience

  • Location

Type of Tax Preparer

Take the time to consider your tax preparation needs, as to the type of tax preparer you choose. Each brings different skills to the table and also has varying costs. 

On the cheaper end of the scale, an enrolled agent can cost as little as $115. Enrolled agents have unlimited representation rights before the IRS. 

The most expensive preparer is attorneys, who can charge $425 and above their services. As licensed professionals in taxation laws, they have extremely advanced knowledge in all things tax. 

Cost of Tax Preparation based on the type of Tax Preparer
Type of tax preparerHighest average priceLowest average price
Attorney$425$220
Certified public accountant (CPA)$273$176
Enrolled agent$300$115

Complexity of return

The more aspects your tax return has to incorporate, the more costly the preparation will be. So even if you’re self-employed, if your income is extremely complex (especially if it involves foreign income) then the cost of tax preparation will likely be higher. 

Income level

Depending on how much you earn, this will determine not just how much tax you have to pay, but how complex your return will be. Generally speaking, if you’re on a lower income your tax preparation will be easier to complete, therefore cheaper. 

As you hit the top tax bands, there are a lot more sections to complete and aspects to consider. Plus, you’ll want your accountant to make sure they are saving you as much money as possible, which will take extra time. 

Quality of bookkeeping

If you want to save time, money, and hassle with your tax preparation, don’t turn up to your accountant’s office and empty a bag of receipts on their desk! It’s essential you keep a good record of every penny that comes into your business and leaves it. 

Consider hiring a bookkeeper if you don’t have time to do this yourself, as ultimately it will impact your tax preparation. Your accountant needs a good overview of the state of your finances, which can’t happen without diligent record-keeping. 

Additional services

Accountants offer a wide range of services from business forecasting to estate planning. You may wish to have tax preparation included as a package or add in other services as you need them. Or, some services may be added on that are essential for the proper completion of your tax preparation if applicable. All of which will affect the total cost. 

Time

Tax preparers don’t typically charge by the hour anymore, though the amount of time your tax preparation will take will be factored into their quote. Complex financial affairs will require more time to sort through, therefore those individuals can expect to pay more for tax preparation. 

Experience

As with any service you wish to hire, you will find tax preparers who are newly qualified, and those who have decades of experience. Expect to pay more for seasoned professionals, versus those who have only just graduated. 

Location

Tax preparers will charge different rates depending on where they are based. This is due to the difference in living and operational costs.

The cheapest location to hire a tax preparer is Wisconsin, costing $170 on average. This increases to $250 in California. 

Average cost of Tax Preparation in the US
LocationAverage tax preparation cost
California$250
Texas$195
New York$235
Wisconsin$170
Colorado$210

It’s also possible to hire tax preparers remotely, which means you can select the best professional for your tax preparation, regardless of your location. 

Though it’s worth keeping in mind that the true cost will depend on not just where you are based, but also the complexity of your accounts.

Is it worth getting Tax Preparation?

Absolutely! Especially if you don’t feel confident in filing your own taxes. After all, if you’re not an expert, then you may underreport how much you’ve earned or miss potential savings - all without even realizing it! Therefore, it’s always worth getting an accountant to do your tax preparation for you. As experts in all things tax, they can point you in the right direction and make the whole process as seamless as possible. 

Find the best professional for the job on Bark today. 

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