How much does it cost to have someone do your taxes?

The cost of hiring a professional accountant to do your taxes varies depending on your situation and the tax forms you must file. If your tax situation is simple, let's say you work for a company and need to file your W2, it may cost less to hire an accountant. If you're self-employed, an accountant may be more expensive. Tax professionals set prices for preparing tax returns in a variety of ways, so it can be a bit like comparing apples to oranges when looking for the best deal.

As a general rule, prices increase as your financial situation and tax return become more complex. People with extremely simple returns and modest incomes can often do the job for free. Basically, you prepay any costs you would incur if the Internal Revenue Service decides to highlight your tax return. For taxpayers who do business or own rents in many states, the cost of filing multiple state returns can eclipse the cost of their federal return and become very expensive very quickly.

If you're self-employed or earning income from rental real estate, assets that are depleted or depreciated, corporations, or foreign sources, your costs may be much higher than your state's average tax preparation fees. It's essential to remember that these are the average charges; the cost will vary if parts of your tax returns are in exceptional cases and the accountant takes longer to complete. The average cost of hiring an accountant to prepare and file your tax return depends on where you live, how complicated your tax situation is, and your experience. Think of the cost of tax preparation as the cost of cutting your hair, you can get a simple haircut for a very low price.

When looking for tax accountants, think about the potential cost and determine for yourself if it's worth the experience and peace of mind it can give you. Ask for an estimate of what your services could cost you, although you probably won't get an answer, at least not firm and definitive, until you've met with the professional and he has a better idea of your tax situation. The slightly longer answer is that the cost of filing your taxes with a tax professional will vary depending on a wide range of factors. For taxpayers with complicated returns who are very confident in their ability to prepare taxes, and who don't mind having their personal data collected, CreditKarma's free online preparation service offers everything you need to complete a return at no cost.