In-office tax prep can help you file your tax return with a professional. Whether it’s your first time filing a tax return or you’re in need of assistance to take care of certain parts of your return, in-office tax prep is a great way to handle your taxes. Unlike seeking assistance from tax preparation software virtually or through an assistant that is there to help you file your taxes through screen-sharing, in-office tax preparation is seen as a better way to file taxes with a tax professional as you’re there and can go through line-by-line.
Tax preparation software that allows you to file taxes electronically is most likely to be less costly, but in-office tax preparation is often more time-efficient. Having said that, weighing the time and cost of tax preparation is a great way to start understanding if in-office tax prep is better for your circumstances.
In-Office Tax Filing Assistance
The majority of the tax preparation services offer some sort of in-office tax filing assistance. The most common reason why taxpayers choose to file taxes in an office with a tax professional is the requirement to submit a mailed tax return. In situations where certain tax forms aren’t available for electronic filing, in-office tax filing assistance is the only help you’re going to get from a tax professional.
Popular tax preparation services like H&R Block offers in-office tax prep where you’ll talk directly to a tax professional to file your federal, state, and local income tax return.
While this is going to be an effective way to make sure there are no errors on your tax return, there are so many simple tax returns that don’t require much assistance. You can take a look at the instructions of tax forms to get help when filing. Oftentimes, tax forms don’t require much aid, especially the information returns where you’ve already been furnished with a copy. Know what goes into your tax return and see if you really need assistance from a tax professional that works in an office.
In-office tax prep amidst COVID-19
Since the world is going through a pandemic that’s affecting everyone, in-office tax preparation might be scary as you’ll spend some time there. Due to COVID-19, some tax preparation services are offering online tax prep where you’re speaking to a tax professional on camera one on one. Ask the tax preparation service you’re anticipating to work with to see if they offer such services.
Cost of in-office tax prep
As it’s a free market, the cost of in-office tax preparation varies. It generally costs between $100 and $200 for a tax professional to handle your tax return.
Some tax professionals rather work on an hourly basis than work per tax return. So, if it takes five hours to complete and submit your tax return at a rate of $75 per hour, it will run you $375 to prep your tax return. It all comes down to the complexity of your tax return and what goes into it. We highly suggest getting quotes from different tax professionals whether they work by themselves or for a company.
Generally, though, the cost of in-office tax prep is significantly less when you visit large tax preparation companies. However, these organizations don’t accept all tax returns and usually have customized plans for more complicated tax returns that can run you upwards of $500 per return. Do your research and see which tax preparation services are suitable for your needs and provide the best value.