Most industry surveys confirm that the fees we charge for our professional services are very reasonable and competitive. They are also not negotiable. If the price is your most important consideration, and you find someone else who will work cheaper, go for it, but remember that you “get what you pay for”.
Tax planning, consultations, or e-mail consultations that require research, document preparation, or longer exchanges, are billed at $180/hour in 30 minute increments of $90 each from the start of the session. NOTE: Information provided to us during Tax Return Preparation is confidential but subject to subpoena, whereas Tax Planning and Business Consultations are “Privileged Communications” not subject to subpoena.
INCORPORATION /LLC FORMATION (“For-profit”) carries a fee of $950.00 prepaid as a (non-refundable) Minimum Fee Retainer that includes
• All initial Secretary of State and Corporation Commission fees, such as Filing initial Statement of Information (regarding Officers & Directors),
• Preparing standard form Charter Documents such as Articles of Incorporation (or Operating Agreement for an LLC), and By-Laws
• Obtaining Federal and State Employer ID numbers,
• Helping you through the tax decision of S-Corporation Election (Form 2553),
• Two (2) Hours of Business Consulting, including 1 year of Registered Agent service.
NOTE: Other States may have additional charges. You must incorporate (or register as a ‘Foreign’ entity to do business) in the State where your business physically resides or has activities that qualify as “doing business.”
NOTE: We are happy to conduct Annual Meetings of Shareholders/Directors during your Corporate Tax Return Appointment at no additional cost (if we prepare both your corporate and your personal return), but it is your responsibility to document such meetings and retain your Minutes. Minutes do not have to be sent anywhere; they just have to be kept in the event there is a question or challenge by someone trying to sue you. If you want us to draft and maintain such minutes there will be an added charge of $75 per meeting providing the entire session is no longer than one hour. Nothing discussed in Shareholder/Director meetings or in filling out requisite forms is intended to be, nor should you consider it to be, legal advice.
NON-PROFIT INCORPORATION carries a fee of $1,200.00 prepaid as a (non-refundable) Minimum Fee Retainer that includes:
• Secretary of State and other fees, excluding Federal fees to secure Tax Exempt (501) Status,
• Preparing standard form Charter Documents such as Articles of Incorporation (or Articles of Association for an Unincorporated Association), and By-Laws
• Obtaining Federal and State Employer ID numbers,
• Participating in one pre-formation Organizational meeting, Hosting and acting as Secretary for your First Meeting of Directors (no other Business Consulting is included),
• Filing initial Statement of Information (RE Officers & Directors), and Drafting your Tax Exempt Application (Form 1023EZ/1023/1024 as appropriate for the type of Non-Profit activity)
• 1 year of Registered Agent service.
NOTE: Creating a Non-Profit entity (whether or not it is Incorporated) does not automatically make it Tax Exempt or able to issue tax deductible receipts for Donations.
EXISTING NON-PROFIT entity REQUEST for TAX EXEMPTION carries a Document Preparation Fee of $450 that includes compiling IRS Form 1023/1024 depending on type of Non-Profit) plus Registration as a Charity with the Attorney General, and participating in follow-up interaction with IRS until they issue their Determination Letter. This fee applies to Non-Profit entities that we did not create.
NOTE: IRS requires a $400 Filing Fee if the organization’s annual Gross Receipts will be $50,000 or less. IRS requires an $850 Filing Fee if the annual Gross Receipts will be greater than $50,000. Our fee does include the CA Form 3500 fee of $25 and the Registry of Charitable Trust Basic Fee of $25.
MERGER or DISSOLUTION fee for a Corporation or LLC is $75.00 (in addition to any State Filing Fees). The $75 includes a certified copy fee that the State charges.
If you are in business, you MUST maintain a formal set of Books of Account that will be requested if you ever have an Audit. We can help you with that (see our fees below). Be warned that IRS is now routinely requiring, during business audits, an electronic copy of Taxpayer’s self-maintained QuickBooks File if that information was used in tax return preparation.
QUICKBOOKS file setup (whether we will do the Bookkeeping or for those who want to do it themselves) is subject to a non-refundable, Minimum Fee Retainer of $150.
QUICKEN conversion (to make your file useful for tax preparation), and related QUICKBOOKS TRAINING conducted only in our office, are $75/hour subject to a one hour (non-refundable) Minimum Fee Retainer of $75.
BOOKKEEPING SERVICE fees are prepaid monthly (at the start of each month’s service), are based on the time and expertise required, completeness of your data, and timeliness in receipt of your data. Our pricing “rule” is $1.00/transaction, or $75/hour whichever is greater, but not less than $75/month for Financial Statements issued, (note that deposits are posted as a single transaction unless your business requires tracking each deposit, sale, product or item). NOTE: Writing and/or signing checks (with your rubber stamp signature) costs $7.00/check (discounts available for Non-Profits).
A NON-REFUNDABLE, MINIMUM FEE RETAINER of $450 IS REQUIRED FOR ALL NEW ACCOUNTS ENGAGED BEFORE NOVEMBER 1st (after that date see “Year-End Bookkeeping” below).
“YEAR-END” BOOKKEEPING. December and January are two of our busiest months due to tax agency deadlines–if you cannot possibly bring in your records until then we cannot guarantee your return will not need to be extended, and you will be billed at the same rates above but subject to a non-refundable, Minimum Fee Retainer of $900 ($75 x 12 months). Work will begin on your “Year-End” Bookkeeping after we receive your Retainer.
BILLING POLICY. Invoiced Accounts that are not paid in full within 30-days are subject to $10/month Late Penalty Fee. Checks Returned for ANY reason, or amounts charged back Credit Card payments are subject to a $50 NSF, Returned Item, or Credit Card Chargeback Penalty Fee. NOTE: Any payments received after a Penalty Fee is assessed are applied first to such Fees assessed, and the balance of the amount originally owed.
PAYROLL SERVICE is provided through affiliates in that field. Call for an estimated fee for your situation. Fees depend on services requested which may include writing checks on your account (for your signature), direct deposit, debit and payment of taxes and quarterly tax filings. Year-end reporting is provided if service is uninterrupted through year-end.
TAX RETURN PREPARATION fees are based on forms used in the return AND THE TIME AND EXPERTISE REQUIRED, include Electronic filing and any one State filing. Tax Returns will not be released to the client for removal from our office (even in “draft” printed or PDF format), or e-filed until our fees are paid in full.
1. INDIVIDUAL RETURNS
• $60 Form 1040EZ ~ $40 for a 1040EZ for your Dependent Child/Student under age 24 if we prepare your return.
• $120 Form 1040/1040A (no itemized deductions)
• $75 Itemized Deductions Schedule-A, PLUS:
• $35 Form 2106 Unreimbursed Employee Expense
• $25 Form 8829 Employee Office in the Home
• $20 Form 8863 Education Credits
• $5 Form 1095-OTR Health Insurance Coverage
• $25 Form 8962 Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit
• $25 Form 8965 Health coverage Exemption
• $10 Form 8283 Non-Cash Donations Greater Than $500 per Recipient
• $15 Form 4952 Investment Interest Expense
• $35 Form 4684 Casualty Losses, per loss, except for Presidentially Declared Disaster Losses which are free of charge.
• $15 Interest & Dividend Income Schedule-B. If you have a Foreign account or Trust, a separate form will be required and the fee is $100.
• $195 Business Schedule-C or Farm Schedule-F (Minimum fee) – our Average last year was $275, including Auto Expense Worksheet (up to 3 vehicles – additional vehicles $15 each), Depreciation Form 4562, Office in Home Form 8829, and Self-Employment Tax Schedule SE. Businesses are Audit Targets. Income verification required, bring your business bank statements, and completed bookkeeping. (IF YOU BRING ONLY RECEIPTS AND BANK STATEMENTS, YOU WILL BE CHARGED $75/HR IN ADDITION TO THE MINIMUM FEE.)
• $20 Capital Gain/Loss Schedule-D (non-business)
• $45 Capital Gain/Loss Form 4794 (business or rental) each sale
• $75 Rental Income Schedule-E (Residential and Commercial Rentals) (Minimum Fee per each property and includes Depreciation Form 4562, and Passive Loss Limitation Form 8582 and related Worksheets). Income and Depreciation on Rentals are Audit Targets. Bring your prop statements and HUD statements from purchase and Improvement Loans.
• $75 Farm Rental-Form 4835 (per each property and includes Depreciation Form 4562, and Passive Loss Limitation Form 8582 and related Worksheets)
• $20 per page Gambling Winnings Forms W2G, (up to 4 forms per page)
• $5 per Wage Income Form W2, for each in excess of 4 forms
• $5 per Retirement/Pension Income Forms 1099-R, for each in excess of 4 forms
• $5 per Miscellaneous Income Forms 1099-MISC, for each in excess of 3 forms
• $50 Extensions (pre-paid)
• $75 ($195 total) Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) (parents with children) due to new “due diligence” requirements placed by IRS on Tax Preparers we shall require the following, additional documentation to be provided by the Taxpayer: school, child care provider, landlord, medical or other records that designate the child’s place of residency as that of the Taxpayer; if child is disabled a Doctor, health care provider, or Social Services agency statement; if parent is self-employed a copy of your business license, and records of gross receipts and expenses provided by Taxpayer. NOTE: We are now required to retain these documents for 3 years.
• $100 CA Registered Domestic Partners (RDP’s), whether mixed gender or same gender unions must file separate, de-coupled federal and state returns reflecting full information on both parties. This fee is in addition to the per form fees for the returns based on the above. RDP’s must be registered with the CA Secretary of State, and may file joint returns at the State level while at the Federal level they file individual returns but splitting income and expense as if filing married-Separate.
• $100 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credits (are claimed on “paper-filed” tax returns and are different for Federal and California, require extensive documentation to be provided by the taxpayer). Fee is $50 for Federal only credit. This fee is in addition to the fees for the returns based on the above.
• $50 each for 2nd or additional State returns.
• $125 Minimum Fee Retainer for Amendments
Not all Forms/Schedules that may be needed for your return are listed above.
Prior year Non-Filers must pay a $195 per year, Non-refundable, Minimum Fee Retainer, execute an IRS Power of Attorney Form 2848, provide full relevant documentation (before our work commences), and must also agree to have no further direct contact with IRS.
2. CORPORATION (“C” or “S”), PARTNERSHIP, LLC RETURNS preparation fees are based on the time and expertise required, and the complexity and degree of organization of your data.
Corporate or LLC Minimum Fee is $575 (plus $15 for each participant Schedule-K-1) for a Services only entity that does not require a Balance Sheet (i.e., Gross Receipts are under $250,000 and Total Corporate Assets are under $250,000, or $600,000 in Assets for Partnership/LLC). Fee charged includes electronic filing (if available) and one State Return if required.
NOTE: If the entity sells products, carries inventory, or exceeds the above amounts, the return will be required to file a Balance Sheet — that will add $175 to the Minimum Fee, making it $750. If additional Schedules or Forms are required there will be an additional fee for each such Schedule of Form.
NOTE: Our bookkeeping clients receive a discount of $100 on the Corporate tax return fees.
3. ESTATE RETURNS (“Death Taxes”) are subject to a $1,200 Non Refundable Minimum Fee Retainer, require the execution of a Form 2848 IRS Power of Attorney by the Executor, and are based on the time and expertise required, the degree of organization of your data and supporting documents, and whether there are any challenges by the IRS to Asset Valuations reported.
4. NON-PROFIT RETURNS (for Taxable Foundations or Sec. 501(c) Tax-Exempt Organizations), Forms 990 or 990EZ, are based on the time and expertise required and the degree of organization of your data. Minimum Fee is $575 providing there is no “Unrelated Business Income” (that is taxable and requires an additional Form 990-T filing with a Minimum Fee of $125). Fees include electronic filing (if available) and one State.
5. TRUST RETURNS (Fiduciary Returns) are based on the time and expertise required and the degree of organization of your data. Minimum Fee is $475 (for a Simple or Grantor Living Trust), or $600 (for a Complex or Decedent’s Estate Trust), plus $15 for each Beneficiary Schedule-K-1. Fee includes electronic filing (if available) and one State. If additional Schedules or Forms are required there will be an additional fee for each.
TAX AUDIT REPRESENTATION fees are hourly based, subject to a $2,160 prepaid, non-refundable, Minimum Fee Retainer PER INCOME TAX YEAR UNDER AUDIT, and do not include any subsequent Appeals or Tax Court Hearings or related filings. Tax Audits are increasingly being conducted by correspondence (those more often than not end up in Appeals), sometimes at the IRS’ office locally, but more often are held in our office if the return involves a business.
NOTE: If you undertake the Audit yourself or our office did not prepare the original return and subsequently turn it over to us for Reconsideration (a Re-do by a different Audit Group) or Appeals, the Minimum Fee Retainer will be $2,825 PER TAX YEAR UNDER AUDIT.
If the Audit scope or complexity increases and more time is needed than is covered by the above Retainer, you will be asked to provide additional funds.
TAX AUDIT APPEALS (or Collections) fees are hourly based, subject to a non-refundable, $600 prepaid, Minimum Fee Retainer per Income Tax Year if we handled the underlying Audit. If we are taking over from someone else the Minimum Retainer will be $1800.
TAX REPRESENTATION (Outside of Income Tax Audit), such as Reviewing and Responding to an IRS CP-2000 “Notice of Proposed Assessment” (based on omissions on your tax return), or other tax agency matters (EDD, FTB, BOE, or other) that require written replies or telephone resolution are subject to a $125 non-refundable Minimum Fee Retainer — avoid this fee by reporting ALL your income in the original return!
THIRD PARTY WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS, such as standardized Lender Letters (often required for some refinancing), are subject to a fee of $60 (plus $5 transmission fee) and their content will contain language that protects our firm from lender lawsuits if your loan goes bad.
SECRETARY OF STATE ANNUAL FILINGS, such as Statement of information require a Filing Fee of $25 payable to the Secretary of State and a processing Fee for our service of $25.
$60 NO SHOW FEE. We charge a $60 NO SHOW FEE if your tax appointment is NOT canceled OR rescheduled AT LEAST 24 hours prior. This fee is payable when your return is finally done.
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