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H & R Blcok Pricing


mrichman333
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>>I deal with lots of non-Americans<<

I get it that New York is a cosmopolitan place. I just don't understand why you bring up ethnicity so much in terms of tax preparation. I didn't see it as an issue even in the particular question of residency. Then you made a point of it in posts about cancellation of debt. Now surely ethnic background is irrelevant at least in a discussion of pricing?

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>>I deal with lots of non-Americans<<

I get it that New York is a cosmopolitan place. I just don't understand why you bring up ethnicity so much in terms of tax preparation. I didn't see it as an issue even in the particular question of residency. Then you made a point of it in posts about cancellation of debt. Now surely ethnic background is irrelevant at least in a discussion of pricing?

Let's see:

NYC residency issue....client said if he were "of my ethnicity" I'd treat him better

Cancellation of debt issue....client said I should have treated him better because he is "of my ethnicity"

Pricing issue....so, how would you handle "the haggle"?

FYI-I just lost an "Albanian student" because she said my unbelievably low price was "too high for a student from Albania". Perhaps you could give me some pointers on how to make money...and at the same time let the potential client get "the rock bottom price".

And...this is why I bring up ethnicity.

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Guest Taxed

Just did a return with 7 W2 each no more than few hundred taxable income. I wanted to charge more than $50 but considering the situation this taxpayer was in, I kept my old price! I guess somethimes we have to put up with stuff like that.

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I had a client that had about an $800 return every year. 1031 exchange 4 rentals 2 K1s three brokerage accounts. Massive carryovers both 8582 and Long term and short term capital gains. 8606s this list go on.

When he called for his appointment he said my fees were too high and could I lower it any. I told him I would see what I could do. After reviewing the complete return from past years I decided I couldn’t lower my fees. So, I printed him a book of all his carry overs and carry forwards, his many 4562 reports and had it ready for him at his appointment.

My first words were “I have prepared for you a full accounting of everything your new preparer will need to properly complete your return. “

When he asked me why I was not going to do the return, I told him I couldn’t lower my fees.

This was three years ago and he is still a loyal client.

Oh did I not mention that his income was several time over 6 figures.

at is an $800 dol

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Just did a return with 7 W2 each no more than few hundred taxable income. I wanted to charge more than $50 but considering the situation this taxpayer was in, I kept my old price! I guess somethimes we have to put up with stuff like that.

You're like me I have a soft heart. I had A WWII Vet the other day, SS and Pension. Didn't charge anything.

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I do a whole bunch of returns for my kids friends for $25-50 each. If they are single 25 if married 50 bucks. Most are easy just a few W2 and standard deduction, but lately these kids are investing in stocks etc and now I have to do 8949 for next to nothing. I don't have the heart to charge them more since I did their very first return when they worked at the local hamburger joint at age 16.

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I do a whole bunch of returns for my kids friends for $25-50 each. If they are single 25 if married 50 bucks. Most are easy just a few W2 and standard deduction, but lately these kids are investing in stocks etc and now I have to do 8949 for next to nothing. I don't have the heart to charge them more since I did their very first return when they worked at the local hamburger joint at age 16.

You can only be the good guy just so long. I pretty much let them know that once they are on their own and working, there will be a fee; all depending on the circumstances. Some of these "kids" are making more money than I am and spending it all.

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Guest Taxed

Good point! Of of these kids just sold some stocks in his scottrade account that he had since he was 15 or so and had a gain of $30K. So i asked what he did with the money, half went to buy a ring for his honey this valentine's day and the rest he used for a vacation to Hawaii. If I remember correctly some of the stocks were Apple and Disney

Next tax season some of these boys will be looking at a slight price increase, but I guarantee it will be much much less than HRB or JH.

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I do the kids for cheap as long as they are kids. After that, they qualify with the rest of my clients for the 'early bird special' for an EZ return, or a discount if they have EIC or student loan interest or some thing else minimal. And you've got to get me your stuff early, first week of February or earlier.

Otherwise it's full price.

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I had a client who complained every year that I had raised my price, but I hadn't. I quoted the same price everybody else with a very basic return was given. Well, last year (2011 ty) I did raise the price by $10 and he complained. Since he had always paid after he signed for the e-file, and I knew where he lived ;) , he signed and I filed...and guess what...he died before he had a chance to pick up the return and pay me. Guess he showed me who was going to pay the new rate...but amazingly, his daughter, who I had never met, called me, she was going through his papers, found the return, came and picked it up (yes, she had a poa) and gave me a tip. Guess we both won!

AnnieR

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I had a client who complained every year that I had raised my price, but I hadn't. I quoted the same price everybody else with a very basic return was given. Well, last year (2011 ty) I did raise the price by $10 and he complained. Since he had always paid after he signed for the e-file, and I knew where he lived ;) , he signed and I filed...and guess what...he died before he had a chance to pick up the return and pay me. Guess he showed me who was going to pay the new rate...but amazingly, his daughter, who I had never met, called me, she was going through his papers, found the return, came and picked it up (yes, she had a poa) and gave me a tip. Guess we both won!

AnnieR

Yep, I have them come pick up the return, singe the e-file authorization and give me a check all at the same time. No money no return

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I had a client who complained every year that I had raised my price, but I hadn't. I quoted the same price everybody else with a very basic return was given. Well, last year (2011 ty) I did raise the price by $10 and he complained. Since he had always paid after he signed for the e-file, and I knew where he lived ;) , he signed and I filed...and guess what...he died before he had a chance to pick up the return and pay me. Guess he showed me who was going to pay the new rate...but amazingly, his daughter, who I had never met, called me, she was going through his papers, found the return, came and picked it up (yes, she had a poa) and gave me a tip. Guess we both won!

AnnieR

A POA is void on date of death. that is what I am dealing with right now. return was ready for pick up when daughter came in to tell me he passed. everything is in a trust and she is trustee but not sure if she can sign for his 1040 return as trustee.

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When people ask if my fee is negotiable, my response is, "Yes -- upwards only." Shuts 'em up pretty quick.

The only time I will lower a set fee is if, upon re-examining it, I realize I have made a mistake in my billing. Rare, but it does happen. Did once earlier this year, in fact. Accidentally charged for a form I did not use. Took it off the bill with an explanation of what I was doing and why, so they didn't think they had "talked me down."

My husband keeps telling me I under-charge -- and the prior-year bills I see from the big-box-tax-prep refugees certainly seems to bear that out. So no, my fees generally don't go down.

On very rare occasion, I have used the tactic promoted here (or perhaps another tax group?) some years ago: tell the client to pay what it is worth to them, and once paid, (assuming the amount is not acceptable to you) wish them luck with their new preparer next year. They have just fired themselves.

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>>Anyone who prices the same services I provide for less money prove that they know what their services are worth.<<

Price is not the same as profit. Small tax offices can be horribly inefficient. For example, many of the discussions on this forum suggest that the tax preparer is doing everything including efiling and billing. But hey, seasonal clerical workers are cheap! One or two might allow an office to double its volume, which in turn would make more powerful software and hardware affordable. (Of course, there's an opposite risk in getting too big supporting a corporate administration.)

Anyway, don't deceive yourself that a lower price means inferior service.

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>>>>>>Anyway, don't deceive yourself that a lower price means inferior service.<<<<<

Agreed,I do charge a lower price than the average in my area. I do give quality professional service and am here year round to service my clients. I am apalled at some of the prices I see in my area. A MFJ return with a Schedule A ranges between 125.00 to 500.00. I am at an even $95.00 and see no current need to raise the price. As Jainen said, I am a one man show and choose to stay that way for a while. When I retire from my regualar day job, then it will be a different story. Only have four years to go and counting.

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