Tax services fees in 2019 (for 2018 tax returns)

Tax filers should know in advance what to expect to pay for professional tax filing services. Each year I publish a guide but this year the task is tougher than usual due to the new federal tax laws. The chart below is meant for simplicity but does not consider every filing situation. Fees vary with individual circumstances. CPA tax preparation is usually more expensive than non-professional services but I am normally able to offset this higher fee with my lower overhead costs and more efficient use of technology compared to other firms. The actual fee and other important details are clearly stated in the engagement agreement that must be executed (usually via email) before we start work. Processing time is typically a few days but that detail is also stated in the engagement agreement.

Easy individual tax return $105

Regular individual tax return $205

State or local tax return (after preparing a federal return) $35

Business return (Schedule C) $125 to $275 (see note 4 below)

Initial section 199 flow-through deduction discussion and determination $125

Schedule A itemized deduction preparation $50 to $175 (regardless of whether filed or an election is made to not file)

E-filing state and federal $25

File an extension $15

Paper filing (certified mail) $45 per return


  1. The overall minimum fee for a simple tax return is $225. The overall minimum fee for all other tax returns is $300. In most cases this is the amount listed on the invoice at the time of engagement.
  2. Other possible fees related to late payment, document handling, overnight shipping, cash or paper checks, tax advice  and other add on services are included in the engagement agreement.
  3. Rushed returns in the last three weeks before a filing deadline are 50% higher. (It may make sense to file an extension to save money and relieve stress).
  4. The majority of the work that business clients request at tax filing time is accounting and bookkeeping, not tax return preparation. This work must be handled under a separate engagement agreement.
  5. This list does not include all tax schedules and services. Tax schedules that require preparer attestation and completion of unfiled checklists (like tax credits) trigger a larger fee.
  6. Fees for partnerships, nonprofit organizations and corporate returns are not listed on this page.
  7. See the engagement agreement for more detailed information that overrides the information on this web page.
  8. For more information see

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