I have these four personal beliefs or principles that guide my tax preparation work. Publishing these as “beliefs” here does not mean that they reflect current realities in the industry.
- Tax preparation fees should be bench-marked in some manner simply because tax filing assistance is a service stemming from a government requirement that affects virtually everybody. Tax preparation clients represent the most diverse user group possible. This should mean that there is more social value in requiring public disclosure, in my opinion, than other types of services.
- Consumers deserve to benefit from the cost savings available through online tax filing services (as opposed to brick buildings and paper forms). Since I work almost exclusively online, I am able to offer CPA-preparered tax return services based on the published average industry fees that include the services of non-professional preparers.
- Tax return preparation should be the least important thing that your accountant or financial adviser does for you over the course of the year.
- Most taxpayers should be able to file their own tax returns. Our time together should be spent primarily focused on planning how to better manage taxes in the future.
These guiding beliefs are reflected in the two rules of tax preparation fees.