How do you prepare your taxes and what would you pay a CPA?


I’m launching a new tax firm this year (called Circle CPA). Real CPAs prepare your taxes and we let our clients choose our fee. I’m very curious to know your answers to three things:

  1. How do you currently prepare your taxes?

  2. What would you pay for a CPA to do your taxes for you (if you could choose the fee)?

  3. Would you use a tax prep service that lets you determine the price?

If anyone is curious, here is a link to our website,, with an introductory 1-minute video.


I hire CPA’s and/or EA’s based on experience and insurance. (What type of error coverage and audit defense they have)

I don’t worry about price unless it’s completly unreasonable.

The most expensive CPA is the CPA who screws up your taxes.

Honestly, if I saw an ad for this this I probably wouldn’t even check it out. It seems a bit to “gimmicky” and of “we out source your taxes to interns or Fiverr”

I don’t want my tax Docs sent to Singapore


I gather the documents and make suggestions. Then hand it off to a CPA tax preparer.
The annual fee has crept up over the years. From $400 to $600 to $800-$900.
I’m thinking I will pay less and take the standardized deduction this year so it should take him less time and therefore a lower fee to me.
Set my own price? Well, lower is better of course. How about $10 :thinking:


I have a CPA who does my taxes, but that’s mostly because I’m self-employed. My business is taxed as an S Corp so there is a good bit of work involved. I don’t know exactly how much I spend, but I think it’s around $2,000 between business and personal. I agree with @YourMoneyGeek, hiring a CPA is not a decision I want to make based on price. I’m perfectly happy to pay for someone I trust and for someone who knows what they’re doing.


Thanks for your feedback.

We only have licensed and experienced CPAs preparing returns from start to finish. Our business model is based on a decade of experience working for real CPA tax firms and seeing the inefficiencies and unfair/lopsided fees billed to clients. A CPA’s expertise is extremely valuable, and is better than any other person/system. When simple (i.e. the vast majority) returns can be processed in less than one hour and a traditional CPA firm sets their minimum price at $500+, no matter the details, we see an antiquated industry and offer a new (and thanks to modern technology, totally viable) solution.

We don’t employ interns or EAs, nor do we have any outsourced/foreign workers. It’s U.S. CPAs only. Errors and omissions insurance covers any mistakes, and audit defense is free for returns that we have prepared.

Our business model of letting satisfied clients choose the amount for our service fee is based on the belief that clients will identify the value of our CPAs, and pay at least a reasonable amount for our time and expertise. It’s a win-win for client and firm. In very rare circumstances, as a private company, we reserve the right to refuse future service to those who do not pay anything, or pay a clearly unreasonable amount.

Fees nearing $1000 for personal and $2000 for personal and business (LLC/S-corp) should be reserved for only extremely complex/specialized returns (<1% of returns, e.g. a dozen rental properties, filing in multiple countries, you own a hedge fund in the Caymans, etc.). If not, charging fees that high is simply outrageous. High fees do not equal high quality, only good marketing.

If you’ve ever wondered if you’re paying too much for your current CPA, give us a try. If our preparation of your returns results in a tax outcome that is inferior to your current CPA, pay us nothing and keep your CPA. If we match or improve the tax outcome vis-a-vis your current CPA, pay us what you want (saving lots of $$) and make the switch. You have nothing to lose.

@marc2242 @WealthyDoc @YourMoneyGeek


I don’t agree that there is nothing to lose. I’ve had bad experiences with other accountants in the past and it’s a disaster to deal with. If I’m happy with my current situation, there is a lot to lose by switching.

The price I pay includes more than just an annual filing for the IRS. My account accountant handles payroll, W2s, quarterly taxes, state, local, and every other tax that impacts my business. There is a lot of ongoing work throughout the year and I talk to the accountant on a monthly basis. I have zero interest in changing.


The problem with competing on price is you become a commodity, and being a commodity is the worst thing for a business.

Someone will always figure out how to make widgets cheaper, and then it’s a downward spiral price war. Eventually, no one will make money.

I think their are enough CPA’s avalliable that normal market forces of supply and demand put both an upper limit and lower limit on how much CPA’s charge.

Tax software and free filing options has led to most CPA experiencing “adverse selection” I.e those with easy return DIY, so the majority of people seeking tax help are the more difficult cases.

I would think your model would lead to even more problems, I.e people looking to dump their rats nest box of mangled receipts and coffee stained records on you for pennies on the dollar.

Do you know what happens with E and O after they pay a few claims? They jack the rates up to ridiculous rates or worse drop you.

This model doesn’t instill with confidence about your longevity. I hire a CPA/EA purely for the piece of mind, I’m more than capable of filling out the forms my self.

I completed H&R Block’s tax school several times, and took several tax accounting classes in college. As an advisor I go to several tax training classes every year, and subscribe to some of the best tax newsletters avalible.

My CPA calls me to ask questions about renewable energy tax incentives.

Like @marc2242 I have an LLC with an S Corp election. I pay myself a salary and my CPA does all the bookkeeping, payroll etc


We help people save money, whether that is by using a CPA when it was previously thought to be too expensive, or by significantly lowering the amount paid for a knowledgeable CPA.

Thanks again for your feedback. Both of you seem very happy with your current CPAs.

Our goal is to totally transform the status quo, and even though it may take time, we have every expectation of success.

Circle CPA


This is nice thread about How do you prepare your taxes.
I will calculate my taxable income amount and then will analyze how much tax benefits I can avail.
I will buy some insurance policies and other tax saving investment.
There are many sections as per income tax of india like section 80C, section 80D and many more.


I like the model. I can’t say I’m completely in love with the name your price model, it is a good way to generate interest. I know all about the inefficiencies & antequatedness (is that a word??) of the financial industry. So I fully believe that your business model can and will work.
I just sent you an email through the website and would love to talk further.
I’m in a similar industry and attempting a somewhat similar cost adjustment. IE, I am charging less than the industry AND THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF PROFIT! I would love to talk further to understand more about your business and to be a resource to you if needed. Plus… I pay $800 for my CPA and I would love to get your thoughts on this.


It is important to start preparing your documents right away to expedite your tax return. Your preparer may take information directly from you or ask you to complete a questionnaire.

If you don’t have a tax prepare, you could find one by asking your friends and advisors. Ensure that your chosen preparer has a Prepare Tax Identification Number (PTIN) showing that they are authorized to prepare income tax returns.

Other process includes scheduling an appointment with your preparer, gathering your information returns, gathering your receipts listing your personal information and deciding on if to fill an extension.

On the amount to pay your CPA, can help you with the necessary information you seek