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Tax prep fees?

Old 02-17-17, 07:34 AM
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Tax prep fees?

I usually do my own taxes but this year bought and sold a home. I am considering using a service.

Has anyone used a tax service? What will I pay?

I have only one salary income source, itemized deduction like local taxes and interest, plus any taxes paid in buying and selling the home. I will have interest and capital gains to report from mutual funds and stocks.
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Old 02-17-17, 08:02 AM
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With all the services you listed home sale, investments, I think the lowest a reputable service would charge is around 125. Tax service is not cheap per hourly rate, I think your bill will probably be 150-250.
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Old 02-17-17, 08:31 AM
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+1. I've used H&R Block for the past 10 years or so. It's ~$100 for a pretty basic situation- no home purchase, kids, or investments.
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Old 02-17-17, 08:57 AM
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Just got mine done by a local guy in Philly I have been using for years. Real tax nerd. His fee structure isn't really driven as much by the time as it is by the number of forms. I had one W-2, some dividend interest, a required minimum distribution from an inherited IRA, itemized deductions (state and local income/wage taxes, local property taxes, investment fees, charitable contributions) and capital gains/losses, which go on a separate form. Would have been the same charge as last year: $200 including e-filing fees, but the additional capital gains/losses form drove the price up to $250. That also included my state tax return filing as well. Should have my refund in about a week if things go as usual.
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Old 02-17-17, 11:31 AM
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Turbo Tax Premier. $50. It'll walk you through the whole process. Includes State filing and free federal e-filing.

I used to pay about $300 to have my taxes filed.
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Old 02-17-17, 01:04 PM
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Don't cheap out on tax service, when I had a home investment the person doing my taxes was able to find a way to go from owing to getting a 1,700 to 2,300 dollar refund every year. Its worth an extra 100-200 to me.
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Old 02-17-17, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I usually do my own taxes but this year bought and sold a home.
The only time I ever used a tax service was the year I bought my home. Then I just copied those forms for the next 15 years with the new numbers. Then I started using Turbo Tax.

It's not so much about getting the maximum refund, as it is about not forgetting something that will later come back and bite you.
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Old 02-17-17, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Turbo Tax Premier. $50. It'll walk you through the whole process. Includes State filing and free federal e-filing.

I used to pay about $300 to have my taxes filed.

I have always used the H&R Block software. My needs are different for this year hence my question.

I used to use Turbo Tax. I have not used it since the day they switched to their spyware for copy protection. They got a whole lot of bad press for doing that. I am sure they have changed things but they lost me as a customer forever.
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Old 02-17-17, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 2702 View Post
Don't cheap out on tax service, when I had a home investment the person doing my taxes was able to find a way to go from owing to getting a 1,700 to 2,300 dollar refund every year. Its worth an extra 100-200 to me.

I checked our local office. It is $200 starting for my situation. My guess in the end it will be closer to $300 so I am on the fence.

How did you know you would owe. Did you do it on your own first?
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Old 02-17-17, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I have always used the H&R Block software. My needs are different for this year hence my question.
Use an upgraded software than the one you've been using.
Chances are, your pro tax guy will be using a similar software....
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Old 02-17-17, 05:23 PM
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Our tax guy (a professional year round accounting firm), charges $225, Long Island, so NYC metro area prices. He uses professional TurboTax.

He does an itemized return, has pretty much gotten us something back from the IRS, but has us adjust withholding occasionally, his attitude is why give it to the government for the year.

He made a comment this year that he's had 2 audits in his career and that nowadays the IRS seemingly never does random audits and only then for unusual and returns that had odd or big changes. Made sense to me.

Having a pro has always paid off.
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Old 02-17-17, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Use an upgraded software than the one you've been using.
What??? That makes no sense. You need to get a new version every year and it auto upgrades.
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Old 02-17-17, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
What??? That makes no sense. You need to get a new version every year and it auto upgrades.
Don't they have different levels of tax software, like Turbo Tax? I assume they must.
Turbo Tax has like 4 or 5 levels of software, depending on your filing situation. I can't use their basic level software because I'm self-employed, require a partnership return, stock trading, and so on, for instance... I can do all this with their $50 software which I must purchase each year.


Edit: For home sales you need H&R Block's Deluxe version or higher.

Last edited by roadfix; 02-17-17 at 06:56 PM.
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