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Pronto Income Tax preparation fees are consistently and persistently MUCH more affordable than the competition. Our tax prep services are often HALF what the large tax preparation chains or expensive CPAs charge to do taxes--it has been this way for 47+ years and our affordable prices on Los Angeles tax preparation will not be changing anytime soon.

Nevertheless, even here at Pronto, we experience some, how would you say, "push back" from clients who think that the cost of tax preparation is excessive.

Angry Customer

To be honest with you, we can understand why people want tax preparation cheaper; it's never fun to pay $200 for something the government forces you to do. However, the fact of the matter is that there are reasons why professional tax preparation costs what it costs.

We will briefly examine the reasons why tax preparation costs good money in this article.

The first reason why professional tax preparation fees in Los Angeles or elsewhere are nearly always more than $100 is because the time it takes a tax preparer to prepare a tax return is not really the time it takes a tax preparer to prepare a tax return.

Meaning that yes a trained Pronto tax preparer may be able to prepare your tax return in a matter of 15-30 minutes, but what about all the hours of training, researching, and testing that is required before that tax preparer is able to prepare your tax return so efficiently? Tax preparers don't get paid for all the "pre-work" that goes into the job.

"The great ones look make it look easy," as they say. But you know what? It (usually) ain't!

The new requirements and costs for tax preparers, including the new IRS Competency Exam, are only making it less easy and more costly for tax preparers to do their job. That's why, by some estimates, up to 50 percent of professional tax preparers will quit doing taxes by the end of 2013.

Secondly there is the seasonal nature of the tax preparation business. Most tax professionals only make money doing taxes for three months of the year, and even during those three months, it's really only a few weeks that you make *good money.

Meanwhile, a tax preparer's bills are year-round. In order to make it worth it for the tax preparer to come back next year, fees have to be at a certain level--and that level is not free or anything close to it. This is just simple math and cannot be avoided.

And then thirdly, the final reason we see why professional tax preparation fees aren't as affordable as many taxpayers would like them to be, is the fact that the major chains regularly and habitually gouge their customers.

Even with the decline of the Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL), which was for the last decade an easy/sneaky way for certain tax prep companies to grotesquely overcharge clients, the major chains have still found a way to charge fees of $450 for a $150 tax return, or $225 for an $80 tax return.

Yes, there are good people at every tax preparation company, but seriously? $350 for a small business return on which is being reported a total of $2,000 income? This results in the small business person paying 17.5 percent of their total gross revenues on tax preparation.


Over the past couple years, clients have started to notice that the major chains have a habit of gouging, and they are fighting back by...doing TurboTax or finding smaller "mom-and-pop shops" that will give a fair price. Nowadays, tax preparers who don't provide enough value to justify their fee will have a hard time keeping clients happy and therefore will have a hard time keeping clients.

Tax preparers who do provide that value, however, need not apologize for charging a fair fee. Clients who understand the value of a professional tax preparer, meanwhile, are happy to pay for service that is worth its cost.

P.S. A BIG thank you to all the loyal Pronto Clients who keep us in business year after year allowing us to provide opportunities for our staff of highly-trained tax preparers!