Tax Preparation, Income
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
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
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
In payment we accept checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard or American
What About Those FREE
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.
Other FREE Tax
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.
how motivated do you think the person (if there IS a human at all) preparing your free return will