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CostHelper > Small Business  > Business Tax Preparation

Business Tax Preparation Cost


How Much Does Business Tax Preparation Cost?

 
low costLow: $250-$500high costHigh: $1,500-$2,000+
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  Typical costs:
  • Charges for preparing quarterly and year-end business taxes vary depending on the complexity, the size of the firm and the kind of business. Fees for preparing monthly, quarterly and annual payroll tax forms are usually included as part of a payroll service. Income taxes for a sole proprietorship with no employees are filed as part of the owner's personal income taxes.
  • Hourly rates run $100-$400 for enrolled agents or tax accountants; often accountants charge the higher amounts. Generally a fairly simple income tax return for a partnership, corporation or a sole proprietorship with few or no employees starts around $250-$500 and goes up to $1,500-$2,500 and more depending on circumstances. Some firms have a minimum charge for corporate income tax preparation of $500 or more.
  • TurboTax Business[1] software costs $83-$90 and can help organize your business taxes, but CNet[2] says it's still a good idea to hire a tax professional to be sure you cover all the bases.
Related articles: Accounting Software, Bookkeeper, Accountant

What should be included:
  • An enrolled agent has specialized IRS training and is licensed by the federal government; a certified public accountant has passed a rigorous exam and is licensed in their state. Often income taxes are included in the range of services provided by an accountant.
  • Once you provide the needed data for the year, the enrolled agent or accountant should prepare your annual tax forms, estimate your quarterly payments and provide the means (envelopes or online) for you to file or pay as needed. A flat fee for tax preparation may or may not include answers to your questions throughout the year to help you set up purchases and other business practices to take advantage of any tax breaks.
  • Nolo Press answers frequently asked questions for small business taxes and sells two informative books, "Deduct It! Lower Your Small Business Taxes" ($35) and "Tax Savvy for Small Business" ($37).
  • The IRS[3] provides information on a range of topics for small business owners and self-employed people.
  • Microsoft.com[4] explains why you should hire both a bookkeeper and a tax professional.
Additional costs:
  • Some tax professionals charge for phone calls or questions beyond a certain minimum amount; beware of those who bill their full hourly rate for a five-minute telephone conversation.
Shopping for business tax preparation:
  • The National Association of Enrolled Agents lets you search for local members.
  • Referrals are available from your state CPA society[5] and The National Society of Accountants.
  • Intuit[6] lets you search for local accounting professionals who are certified to work with its QuickBooks software.
  • Get verbal referrals from other local business owners and ask your state board of accountancy about the status of a CPA's license.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
I work for a cpa
Amount: $2,250.00 per year
Posted by: colleen r. in sacramento, CA.Posted: November 29th, 2013 09:11PM
In Sacramento, California, I have worked for a CPA (30 years experience) who charges a minimum fee of $2250.00 per business return. The other CPA (20 years experience) in our office charges a minimum fee of $1750.00 per business return. They both have had minimal complaints about the charge, however, continue to be referred to other businesses and continue to gain clients...and turn some away too! If you are a sole prop. then it might be too much but, if you are any other type of business you got a good deal. Remember CPAs can talk directly to the IRS or FTB should you have a run in with them (audit). You are not only paying for your return to be filed, you are also paying for his experience and advise during the year. You shouldn't get billed for the occasional phone call or quick swing by his office if you need financial advise during the year. I would make sure to use his knowledge wisely:) Good luck!
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Is my accountant charging too much
Amount: $1,500.00 per year
Posted by: Constu in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: May 15th, 2011 01:05AM
Accountant: Jeff KawaguchiNumber of Employees:
I started a business this year and hired a CPA to review my books and do my taxes (Form 1065). Because he was a friend, I did not ask for prices before hand -- BIG MISTAKE. Now he is asking for 1500! Is this too much??
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External Resources:
  1.  turbotax.intuit.com/?_requestid=18782
  2.  www.cnet.com/4520-10192_1-6411621-1.html
  3.  www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Small-Business-and-Self-Employe...
  4.  www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/finance/tax_advice/good_reasons_to_have_both_...
  5.  www.taxsites.com/cpa-societies.html
  6.  proadvisor.intuit.com/acm/alpha/search-criteria-v2.html?latitude=034.063&longitude=-118...
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