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This page last updated on
December 29, 2011




National Association
of Enrolled Agents


Tax Preparation, Income Tax Planning
and Representation Fees

The fees charged by Brookwood Tax Service vary for tax returns and tax planning according to the complexity of the tax preparation or income tax planning service.  No, we are not a low-priced, mass-production "return mill."


For income tax preparation we charge by the form -- the more forms involved in a tax return, the more complex the return, the more time and attention the taxpayer's situation requires and the higher the fee.


Income tax planning services are charged at an hourly rate -- generally $95 per hour.


Tax representation services for audits, appeals and collections (back taxes) are generally charged at an hourly rate of $195 with a minimum, retainer required of 3-to-5 hours.  Additional hours are billed in advance in four-hour increments.  Payment for any hours not used is refunded at the end of the engagement.


For new clients, Brookwood Tax Service will review up to the three most recently filed federal and state income tax returns at no charge.  In fact, for new clients we routinely ask to see at least the most recently filed federal and state returns.  We will recommend preparation of an amended tax return if we can identify sufficient additional tax deductions to warrant the expense (or if we determine there was unreported income or other tax items required to be reported).


Once we receive your filled-in tax data organizer, we can prepare an estimate of the fees for tax preparation based on the forms it appears your tax preparation will require.  You decide whether we proceed with your tax return preparation.


In payment we accept checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard or American Express.


What About Those FREE E-File Offers?


The IRS has partnered with several large firms to offer free electronic filing for a limited number of taxpayers (based on income, in some cases).  How will you know whether you qualify?  You may have to go all the way through the online tax preparation process before they tell you if you'll have to pay or not.  Most of the firms offering free federal e-filing do charge a fee for preparation of a state tax return.


For returns prepared by Brookwood Tax Service, there is no extra charge for electronic filing -- in fact we recommend it.


What About Other FREE Tax Preparation Offers?


You also may have seen or heard of some financial services firms and even retail businesses offering to do tax preparation for free or for a very nominal sum.  How can they do that, since they obviously lose money on the tax returns?


They have to make money somewhere.  Some retailers expect you to spend your tax refund with them.  Financial services firms may hope to make money on other products and services they plan to sell to you.  Read the privacy policies carefully, as they will indicate if the company doing your tax preparation plans to share your personal financial information with "affiliates" or "subsidiaries" or "non-affiliated third parties."  Some firms use free or cheap tax return preparation as a "loss leader" to generate prospects for their other financial products.  Guard your financial privacy carefully.


One last thought -- if a firm is doing your taxes for nothing, how much time do you think will be spent carefully looking for deductions and analyzing your future tax planning.  Also, how motivated do you think the person (if there IS a human at all) preparing your free return will be?

  Some Fee Ranges for Various Tax Returns
(Federal & State)
A couple with children, home mortgage and itemized deductions -
$295 - $445


The above couple with one sole proprietorship -

$355 - $545


An individual with a home mortgage and moderate  securities transactions -
$425 - $595


An individual with one-to-four residential 
rental properties -

$495 - $745

Small Corporation return, Form 1120 or 1120S and Georgia Form 600 or 600S.

$450 - $700


The above are broad ranges.  Your fees will be based strictly on the complexity of your return.



  Beware of Tax Return "Offshoring"

Some accounting and tax firms are now sending their clients' financial information to cut-rate bulk tax preparers in foreign countries.  Financial privacy laws in those countries may be weaker than in the United States.  Ask WHO will be preparing your tax return!



  You May Get What You Pay For

Yes, you can find tax preparation for less.  Some web sites let you use their tax software for $25 or even $9.95.  You must collect your data and decide what items to report and where.  If the web site crashes, you must call tech support. 


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