Like many people, I used to do my own taxes (even before learning to really do taxes). I would use the DIY software, pay $40-$50 to do it, then get hit with another $40-$50 for my state return. So all in I would pay $80-$100 each year. Then one year I realized all the time I was spending doing them and decided to go one of the big chain places. It was a LOT more expensive, but it saved me a ton of time and hassle. I got to thinking "why is it so expensive"? A good tax preparer has to learn the tax laws, tax tons of continuing education classes each year, and has regular expenses associated with running their business. Even factoring in all of that, I still couldn't justify the price I got charged at the big guy. Then I realized, they have to pay the tax preparer, the manager of that office, pay for the office space and utilities, then they likely have district and regional managers as well. That is a lot overhead factored into each and every return. After learning how to do taxes from someone in the business for over 40 years, I eventually took over for him. I ran his retail tax business with overhead for a few years before deciding to go virtual.
Less overhead means I don't have to charge what the big chains do. I also do something a little different: my prices include your state return! I hate the "starting at" or "state additional" pricing that everyone seems to do. Here we do up-front, easy to understand pricing. My goal has been to simplify tax preparation for those who want professional service, and hopefully make it affordable as well.
Two situations can be similar, but they are never the same. That is part of the fun of taxes. The new tax laws have made things even more interesting (and complicated). Every one of our Tax Preparers is an AFSP (Annual Filing Season Program) Record of Completion holder or higher, and an ERO (electronic return organizer). This gives us the knowledge to prepare your returns and ability to electronically file them.
We do not do audit work. We try to make sure every return is done accurately as to avoid audits. We can assist with certain letters to help clear up minor issues, but offer 3rd party audit protection if you are truly worried about an audit. If you have a business but do not keep records, we offer basic bookkeeping, but not full accounting services. We will get your books in order enough to prepare your tax return, but this will not be GAAP compliant.