Fee Info (transparency)
Posted Friday, December 9, 2022
WCG prides itself in being transparent and having a simple fee structure. Most business services and tax preparation fees will fit into the fees described below. Sure, there’s always the outlier or the unusual situation, but the following information gives you an idea of our philosophy. Let’s not forget basic disorganization, advanced disorganization, disguised disorganization and misrepresented organization which can all increase your tax preparation fee.
We only have time on this earth to sell, and we cannot inventory it nor is it refundable. Therefore, our published fee ranges are an attempt to coincide with expected time spent. In addition, we try to maintain historical tax preparation fees for returning clients… but that is not synonymous with fees never increasing (sorry). Our amazing staff of accounting professionals is impacted by the increased cost of living just like anyone else.
Several times our fees decrease too! Yeah, shocking. In one year you sold a rental, had stock options requiring a bunch of history building and moved between states… crazy year! The following year, no rental, no stock options and your butt didn’t move. A bit more straightforward… less time, lower fee.
Most of our clients are primarily in California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, the Midwest, Florida and New England, but we serve business owners in all 50 states including District of Columbia. Please click on each button below for more information.
We specialize in tax preparation for small business, LLCs, rental properties, foreign earned income exclusions, capital gains, asset dispositions, etc. Our starting fee is $800 for standalone individual tax returns (most are $800 to $1,000).
We can create an LLC, partnership or corporation typically for $425 plus the state filing fees. Includes Articles, EIN, Operating Agreement, S Corp election (if necessary) and consultation to help you launch your venture. Discounts for multi-tiered entity structures.
Our primary focus is business consultation, deduction optimization and tax return preparation. Our starting fee is $1,500 for partnership and corporate tax returns depending on the quality of your accounting records (most are $1,500 to $1,800).
Our fee is $250 for 40 minutes. If we engage in the future we will credit the fee towards future Business Advisory or Tax Patrol Services. Get solid answers right away! If we don’t have the competency we will tell you that as well, and refund the consult fee. Low risk, high reward!
WCG offers a lot more than just a tax return. Tax returns are boring. Most CPAs are boring and are not forward-thinkers.
Tax planning strategies are commonly addressed in December as small business owners and other taxpayers start to freak out about bringing in the New Year. However, tax planning is an ongoing and fluid dynamic, and it should be performed methodically throughout the year. The uneasiness of not knowing your tax obligations is avoidable! Got a big fat raise (booyeah!)? Just sold a rental? Your spouse is going back to work?
Sure, we can slam things together on December 31, but that is operating in crisis mode. Rather, operating in planning mode throughout the year allows for better decisions and better tax savings.Tax planning is a valuable service that most tax professionals don’t readily offer… but WCG does! It is included in our Business Advisory and Tax Patrol Services, including standalone Tax Plans. Click the buttons below for more information. Riveting!
Let’s do some tax planning and see if you should spring for the new car, or stick with the lightly used one.
Business Advisory Service Plans
WCG specializes in small businesses who generally have fewer than 100 employees. Why? We want to help people, and more importantly we want to help the business owner directly. Frankly speaking, once a business gets to a certain size management layers get in the way of owner access. Access allows us to ensure the owner(s) are leveraging the most out of their business for themselves and their families.
Because small business is a core competency for us, we have created business advisory service plans which include these really cool things-
|A la Carte*||Vail||Telluride||Aspen|
2023 Tax Planning and Preparation
|Streamlined Tax Planning, Tax Projection Worksheets||$350 to $500|
|Annual Tax Reduction, Shifting and Deferral Analysis||$350 to $500|
|Small Business Tax Deductions Optimization||Included|
|Section 199A QBI Deduction Tax and Salary Optimization||$300|
|Estimated Income Taxes (via increased payroll withholdings)||Included|
|Business Entity Tax Return (Form 1065, 1120, 1120S)||$1,500 starting|
|Individual Tax Return (Form 1040, joint filing), One Owner||$800 starting|
|Expat / Foreign Income Calcs (Form 2555, FBAR, Form 8938)||$300 to $500||Add-On||Add-On||Add-On|
|Tax Resolution, Audit Defense||Varies||As Req'd||As Req'd||As Req'd|
|Financial Planning, Calculations, Discussions||$900 to $2,500||Add-On||Add-On|
|Situational Tax Law Research (up to 3 hours annually)||$750 to $1,000|
Payroll and Accounting Services
|Reasonable Shareholder Salary Calculation (RCReports)||$500|
|Monthly Shareholder Payroll Processing (up to 3 shareholders)||$1,200|
|Employee Payroll Processing (bi-weekly, direct deposit)||Varies||Add-On||Add-On||Add-On|
|Annual Payroll Processing (W-2s, other filings, up to ten 1099s)||Included|
|Accounting Services (bookkeeping + analysis... see below)||Varies||Add-On||Add-On||Add-On|
|Quarterly QuickBooks Consulting (QuickStart Launch)||$250, $750||Add-On|
Business Advisory Services
|Business Consultation, Periodic Business Reviews (PBR)||$250 to $1,000||Annually||Routine||Routine|
|Complimentary Quick Chats (CQC)||$250 to $500||Routine||Routine||Routine|
|CPA Concierge Services||Varies||Add-On||Add-On|
|Interfacing with Lenders, Attorneys, Financial Planners||$750||Routine||Routine|
|Fractional Controller (monitoring 3rd party bookkeeping)||Varies||Add-On||Add-On||Routine|
|Quarterly Financial Statements Analysis, Comparisons||$1,200|
|Annual Cash Flow Management and Analysis||$1,500 to $2,500|
|Annual Budgeting, Forecasting, Goal Setting||$750 to $1,000|
|Annual First Research Reports, Industry-Focused Consulting||$350 to $600|
|Annual National and Metro Economic Reports||$150|
|KPI Analysis, Benchmarking, Hot Sheets, Trend Analysis||$500 to $1,500|
|Strategy and Maintenance|
|C-Level Financial Advice, Strategic Planning (Fractional CFO)||Varies|
|Succession Planning, Ownership Changes Consultation||$750 to $1,000||Routine|
|Annual Business Valuation||$2,500 to $3,000|
|Annual Corporate Governance, Resolutions, Meetings||$150 + filing fee|
|(prorated based on onboarding date)|
Custom! Unlike the modern day new car packages where you have to spend $8,000 for the moonroof, our Business Advisory Service plans can be customized specifically for you. The array above is simply a starting point. If you need more or less from us, let’s chat about it!
Tax Patrol Services
We also have Tax Patrol! This is a wonderful tax service for those who don’t need all the business advisory bells and whistles above, but from time to time want some love from an experienced tax consultant and business advisor. Have a quick tax question? Need to know the depreciation rules as you buy that new car? Wondering what your April tax bill is going to be in August? Tax Patrol is like ski patrol… you might not use it, but you sleep better knowing you have it.
|A la Carte*||Keystone||Copper||Breck|
|Individual Tax Return Prep (Form 1040, joint filing)||$800 starting|
|Business Entity Tax Return Prep (Form 1065, 1120, 1120S)||$1,500 starting|
|Streamlined Tax Planning, Tax Projection Worksheets||$350 to $500|
|Estimated Tax Payments Calcs||Included|
|Tax Resolution, Audit Defense||NA||Add-On||Add-On||Add-On|
|Complimentary Quick Chats (CQC)||$250 to $500||Routine||Routine||Routine|
|(prorated based on onboarding date)|
Additional Business Services
The following are additional business services to get your venture launched and on the way. Some of these are teased out separately as one and done fees like formation and onboarding stuff.
|Monthly Accounting (bookkeeping + analysis)||starting at $400 / month|
|Bi-Monthly Accounting (bookkeeping + analysis every 2 months)||starting at $250 / month|
|QuadMonth Accounting (bookkeeping + analysis every 4 months)||starting at $175 / month|
|Sales Tax, Personal Property Tax||typically $75 / month, $150 / quarter|
|Employee Payroll (direct deposit, bi-weekly)||1 employee, $100 / month
2-5 employees, $175 / month
|Fine Print: Accounting fees are based on 2 bank account with less than 250 monthly transactions but does not include the QBO fee from Intuit. Custom quote is available if you have a lot going on such as third-party integrations (POS, time billing system), accrual accounting method, extensive benefits packages and / or industry specific issues (e.g, job costing in construction).
Even Finer Print: Employee payroll can be added only if already using our Business Advisory Service plans above (e.g, Vail). Custom quote for more than 5 employees and a referral to therapy.
|Articles of Organization or Incorporation, Domestic Owners||$425 + state filing fee|
|Articles of Organization or Incorporation, Foreign Owners||$725 + state filing fee|
|Initial Report (if required)||$125 + state filing fee|
|Employer Identification Number (EIN)||Included|
|Single Member Operating Agreement (SMLLC)||Included|
|MS Word Templated Bylaws Agreement (Corporations)||Included|
|S Corp Election, Timely Election (made with formation)||Included|
|Payroll Accounts Setup or Transfer||$425 to $550 depending on state|
|Employee Data Transfer||$25 per EE, >5|
|Accounting Setup or Transfer (Fractional Controller)||Varies|
|QuickStart QuickBooks Setup and Support (90 days)||$750|
|S Corp Election, Timely Election (within 75 days)||$450|
|Late S Corp Election Back to January 2022||$600, $1,200 after Jan 1 2023|
|Examine Prior Tax Returns||Included|
|Moving Entity to New State||$750 + state filing fees|
|Closing Payroll Accounts||$350|
|Address Changes w/o Payroll||$350 + state filing fees|
|Address Changes with Payroll||$450 to $600 + state filing fees|
|Address changes are tough. Basic address changes require IRS, State Department of Revenue and Secretary of State notifications. Address changes that include payroll add another level of complexity since departments of revenue are not the same as departments of labor, and there might be local or municipal agencies as well.|
Advisory Services Fine Print
A la CarteA la Carte fee ranges are approximates. 85% of our clients fit into these fee ranges, but there are outliers. We have a handful of clients with over 30 rentals; their individual tax return is north of $4,000. We also are assuming one state; if your business spans the galaxy then additional fees will be discussed with you prior to payroll setup or tax preparation. Typically each state or tax jurisdiction is around $250 to $350 for tax preparation since it affects both your business and individual tax returns (frankly, state apportionment is a pain in the butt, but it is our pain… and states, especially California and New York, are crazy about it).
Some more things to consider- when a partial year remains, our usual annual fee is pro-rated to not charge you for services you didn’t use (like payroll and consultation). However, a large chunk of our annual fee is tax preparation which is typically a built-in fixed amount of $2,300 (both business entity and individual tax returns) plus annual tax planning. Whether we onboard you in January, July or December, we have to prepare a full year tax return. This increases the monthly fee for the remaining months of 2023 but the monthly fee will later decrease in January of 2024 to reflect the amounts above. Yeah, we make it sound like 2024 is just around the corner.
We make very little profits on payroll processing… we offer it as a convenience to our clients. One throat to choke with a single call can be reassuring but if you want to run your payroll, go for it! Everyone thinks payroll is a piece of cake; write a check and done. Nope… we see a lot of mistakes being made by clients especially the handling of health insurance and HSA contributions since there are special rules for greater than 2% S Corp shareholders. Then again, we don’t mind fixing what was broken.
You can prepare your own individual tax return as well… but the benefit WCG preparing both individual and business tax returns is that we slide things around depending on income limitations, phaseouts, alternative minimum tax (AMT), Section 199A deduction optimization, pass-through entity tax deductions (PTET), etc. Having our arms around both can yield some good tax savings!
Note: An individual tax return is what the IRS calls Form 1040 and refers to the entity filing the tax return (you, the individual, are the entity). However, a married couple are deemed to be one entity for the sake of an individual tax return. So, when we say we will prepare your individual tax return, it is meant to include your spouse in a jointly filed tax return.
Break-Even Analysis (does an S Corp make sense?)
Break-even analysis is based on our annual fee of $4,440. If an S corporation saves you 8% to 10% (on average) in taxes over the garden-variety LLC, then $4,440 divided by 9% equals $50,000 of net ordinary business income (profit) after expenses and deductions.
More sales pitch! Keep in mind that our fee of $4,440 includes your individual tax return which you might already be paying another tax professional to prepare. WCG has a handful of clients who are right at the break-even point of $50,000 but leverage an S Corp and our services to get tax preparation, tax planning and consultation.
We are not salespeople. We are not putting lipstick on a pig, and trying to convince you to love it, even if Tom Ford’s Wild Ginger looks amazing. Our job remains being professionally detached, giving you information and letting you decide.
We see far too many crazy schemes and half-baked ideas from attorneys and wealth managers. In some cases, they are good ideas. In most cases, all the entities, layering and mixed ownership is only the illusion of precision. Just because you can complicate the crap out of your life doesn’t mean you must. Just like Chris Rock says, just because you can drive your car with your feet doesn’t make it a good idea.
Here is a brief summary of the next steps should you want to engage WCG with Business Advisory Services or Tax Patrol-
1. We schedule an appointment to discuss your needs and ensure that we have the proper resources to help you.
2. We draft a proposal outlining the scope of services and our fixed annual fee.
3. If necessary, we schedule another appointment to review the proposal and perhaps tighten things up or make changes.
4. Once the proposal is signed, the fun begins with onboarding. We have an extensive checklist and internal task list to properly onboard you and your business. Some things are concurrent (such as gathering housekeeping docs and setting up payroll) and some things are sequential (for example, collecting financial data and then offering salary recommendations and creating a tax plan). Onboarding is like having a baby; a SWAT team shows up and does a zillion things, and poof, everyone is gone except for mom and baby.
5. After onboarding (usually 4-6 weeks), things settle down into a rhythm- Tax preparation in the spring, tax planning in the summer, with payroll and routine consultation bouncing along throughout the year.
Our Business Expertise
As mentioned elsewhere we primarily focus on small business owners and their unique consultation and tax preparation needs. With over 40 full-time consultation professionals including Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents and Certified Financial Planners on your team, WCG consults on custom business structures, multiple entity arrangements, S corp elections (even late S corp elections back to January), tax strategies, business coaching, industry analysis, executive benefits, retirement planning including individual 401k plans, exit strategies, business valuations, income tax planning and modeling, and tax representation.
We also work with business law attorneys for business owners who have additional needs such as drafting Operating Agreements, fee for service contracts, buying or selling a business including employee stock ownership plans and partner buy-ins. In addition, WCG coordinates with third party plan administrators such as Polycomp and RPS to create age-based profit sharing plans and cash balance (defined benefit) plans. We can run point on whatever your business needs to ensure that communication is effective and efficient allowing you to sell widgets.
Here are some additional resources you might find useful.
Jason Watson, CPA, CVA is trained by the American Institute of CPAs and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (CVA) for Business Valuation. Jason has represented several buyers and sellers in business acquisitions, and has helped divorcing couples value a small business for divorce property settlements. When performing business consultation and business valuation services under engagement, his hourly fee is $350 with a retainer of $5,000 to $8,000 depending on the complexity of the case. Depositions and trial testimony are $450 per hour (possibly with an additional retainer).
We also have a short list of additional fees that might be incurred depending on your tax and accounting situation, and your level of readiness-
|Copying and returning of original tax documents||$45|
|Significant changes or additions after a preliminary tax return is prepared- “crud, let me re-work all my numbers.”||$250 / hr|
|Tax resolution||$500 retainer,
$250 / hr
|Tax representation and audit assistance; typical case is resolved in two 2-hour sessions||$750 retainer,
$250 / hr
|Lender or “comfort” letters||$250 to $600|
|Business Valuations||$5,000 – $8,000 retainer,
$350 / hr
|Divorce Analysis, Litigation Support||$250 / hr,
$350 / hr for court
|Client Support, Administrative billable rate||$150 / hr|
|Accountant billable rate||$150 / hr|
|Supervisor billable rate||$250 / hr|
|Manager billable rate||$300 / hr|
|Partner billable rate||$400 / hr|
|Managing Partner billable rate||$450 / hr|
|Senior Partner billable rate||$475 to $525 / hr|
|40-minute advanced initial consultation (click to schedule)||$250 (credited back to you)|
Wow! We really belabored the heck out of those hourly rates there at the end, didn’t we? All in the interest of fee transparency of a growing firm.
Also! Please keep in mind that we pride ourselves in not being the nickel and dime type of tax and accounting firm. Generally speaking, we can provide a fee range or a not to exceed ceiling on our services and fees. This is what we do… all day… every day… we have a pretty good handle on what it takes to complete a project.
Complete the form below to schedule a time with one our amazing tax consultants and business advisors. No, we don’t hound we with robo calls and other nonsense. We will respond by email. Swipe right or left… all up to you!