How much do you charge?
This is the question I get asked most often and the one that is hardest to answer. I set a base price for new and returning clients each year. The base price for new individual clients for the 2022 filing season is $275 plus applicable gross receipts or sales tax. Click here for a list of what is included with full-price return preparation. The base price does not include additional charges for additional forms and schedules (Schedule B/D, Schedule C, etc.), but I don’t nickel and dime you for each W2 or 1099 like some of the large franchises.
If you book a free discovery call I may ask you at that time to complete a quote request and/or to provide a copy of one or more prior year returns so that I can give you a more accurate idea of what you will be paying.
All that said, I will never be the least expensive option but I am usually only slightly higher than regional averages and sometimes a bit lower for regional averages with my experience and level of service.
For more on why professional tax services cost more than DIY solutions click here.
I am accepting new clients for preparation of individual returns, but new client onboarding requires work in addition to preparing the tax return. If you stick with me you get the returning client price because long-term clients make my job easier! Please note that I do not accept new clients that require entity returns (Form 1065 or Form 1120 and some large/complicated Schedule Cs) during tax season. Feel free to contact me if you would like me to reach out to you later in the year (usually beginning in June) to discuss preparation of your entity return(s).
How long does it take?
That’s another “it depends”! I don’t do your return while you wait (for more on that click here). In general returns are processed first in, first out and the earlier in tax season you get them in, the more likely you are to get a quick turnaround time.
Sometimes I have to slow down the processing of individual 1040s to get partnership and S-corporations finished by the March 15th deadline. As soon as that deadline passes I clear any backlog quickly. My client management system will allow you to see where your return is in the process (being scanned, in data entry, in processing/final review) and how long it has been there when you log in although you won’t be able to see your place in line.
I do use e-mail (and, to a limited extent, text messaging) to communicate when I am experiencing a backlog. Most of the time, I’ll even tell you why (entity return deadline, high return submission volume over a short period of time, family emergencies, etc.) and what I’m doing to fix it.
In general, I try to keep turnaround time to less than two weeks. Often much less. Except for 2020. I don’t want to talk about the 2020 filing season. I’m still not quite sure it’s over. (As of 11/20/2021 I’m still not sure it’s over.)
Can I come to the office?
Not anymore. Between Covid-19 and “landlord issues” In July 2021 I made the difficult decision to no longer maintain a physical office.
I am available for fully remote, contact-free service. I can communicate with you by phone, e-mail, secure message, or video chat. I maintain a secure client portal for uploading/downloading tax documents. I also accept documents by mail/courier to the practice PO Box. If you are fully retired, elderly (roughly 75 and up), or disabled I will make house calls for both pick up and review and signature.
During your discovery call or once you come on board as a client we can discuss the options available to you for providing and receiving documents and for review appointments and consults.
Please note we do not accept documents delivered by e-mail or by text.
Do you do business returns?
Yes, but we do limit the type of businesses and entities based on our resources. If your return is so complex that it would require most of our annual resources for just your return we are going to refer you to a larger firm with more staff.
Additionally, if you are a new business client inquiring for the current season in March we will require you to be on extension in order to give your return the attention it deserves while still meeting the needs of clients whose returns are already in the office.
Do you do bookkeeping or accounting?
No. I do, however, have a couple of excellent local bookkeepers to whom we can refer you and a handful of virtual firms I know and trust.
Do you do returns for same sex couples?
Absolutely. We do not discriminate. Period. As long as you want your taxes done right, pay your invoices, and aren’t mean to me, I’m here to help!
Do you do returns for states other than New Mexico?
In general, yes. I mostly focus on the western United States, but I do returns for clients all over the country.
Do you do foreign returns?
In general, no. But I have a couple of excellent firms who specialize in international tax to which I’m happy to refer you. Depending on your situation it may be possible for me to prepare your U.S. return while a partner firm prepares your foreign return(s). The complexities of foreign tax, however, make this unlikely but I am happy to refer you to someone I know will get it right!
I can and will do returns for U.S. citizens living abroad but only if I am confident that their tax situation does not require a foreign tax specialist.
I also can and will do U.S. returns for U.S. non-residents but only after I have determined that they do not require a specialist.
I haven’t filed for a long time, can you help me catch up?
You bet! But returns for prior year non-filers can take some time. I will require a deposit to get started and I will require you to keep current with our invoices (pay for each year as it is done) to continue with the work. If this is your situation it’s best to book your discovery call and come onboard in the off season. I will still see you and may start working on your returns if you come in during season, but I may not be able to finish all of the work before the current year filing deadline. The order in which I process the returns depends on many factors which I will go over with you once I have fully reviewed your situation.
When can I get started?
Typically I begin accepting new clients for the following filing season in June. I stop accepting new clients in mid-March unless the client agrees to go on extension. You may not end up on extension, but you will have to agree to an extension at our discretion. By mid-March I am usually focused on ensuring all returns currently in the office get filed on time.
How do I get started?
You book a new client discovery call by clicking here. During the call I will take some basic information and enter you into our client management system. I may also have you complete a quote request.
What documents do I need to provide?
You can find a list of documents here. For new clients I like to see at least last year’s return (or the last year filed) and would prefer to see the last three years. Providing prior year returns will also help me to provide you with a more accurate estimate of the price for your return preparation.
If you decide to use my services you simply follow the automated instructions as they are released by the client management system. It will let you know what to do next: ID check interview, follow up interview, etc. A general overview of how we process returns can be found here. Since 2021 it is a bit different because I automated some of the tasks I used to do manually, but in general that blog post describes how I work.
I’m being audited, can you help? OR I owe a lot of money and they want it, can you help?
At this time I am not accepting new representation clients. I may, however, be able to refer you to someone else who can help.