Fee Structure

tax preparation fees

Fee Info (transparency)

Posted January 22, 2020

WCG (formerly Watson CPA Group) 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 fees are an attempt to coincide with expected time spent. In addition, we try to maintain historical tax preparation fees for returning clients. Remember this when you ask for your next annual raise or contract rate- we’re no different.

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. Typical fee range is $500 to $700 (includes Aug and Nov tune-ups) for standalone individual tax returns.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. Typical fee range is $800 to $1,200 (includes Aug and Nov tune-ups) for partnership and corporate tax returns depending on the quality of your accounting records.We can have your entity taxed as an S corporation for $300. We also easily elect late S Corp elections back to Jan 1 2019 for $375. You can quickly save 8 to 10% on your net business income by reducing self-employment taxes! Yay!Fractional Controller and monthly small business bookkeeping service is typically $300 to $600 per month. Turn-key payroll up to 10 employees paid bi-weekly with direct deposit is $160 per month.Our fee is $150 for 40 minutes. If we engage in the future we will credit the $150 towards future 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!

August and November Financial Tune-Ups

For those clients who have a tax-only engagement with us, we offer a lot more than just a tax return. Tax returns are boring. Tax planning including projections and end of year tax moves is way more valuable to you than 100 pages of gobbly-goo in some dust-catching PDF aimed at IRS compliance. Wow, that is a long sentence… anyways, in August we offer a tax planning tune-up and later on in November we offer an end of year tax consultation. These are complimentary consultations. Sure, you’re paying for it in some fashion with your tax preparation fees above but then again, this is a valuable service that most tax professionals don’t offer. Click the buttons below for more information. Riveting!

S Corp Benefits Package

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

2020 Tax Planning and Preparation

     
Tax Planning, Tax Projection Worksheets $350 to $500
Small Business Tax Deductions Optimization Included
Section 199A QBI Tax and Salary Optimization $300
Estimated Tax Payments (thru payroll or directly) inc. or $75 per
2020 Business Entity Tax Prep (Form 1065, 1120, 1120S) $800 to $1,200
2020 Individual Tax Prep (Form 1040), One Owner $500 to $700
Expat / Foreign Income Calcs (Form 2555, FBAR, Form 8938) $300 to $500 Add-On Add-On Add-On
IRS Audit Defense NA
Situational Tax Law Research (up to 3 hours annually) $750    

2020 Payroll

     
Reasonable Shareholder Salary Calculation (RCReports) $400
Shareholder Payroll Processing (up to 3 shareholders) $1,200
Employee Payroll Processing (up to 25 employees, bi-weekly, direct) $300 per month Add-On
Annual Payroll Processing (W2s, other filings, up to five 1099’s) Included

Business Advisory Services

     
Consulting      
Business Consultation, Periodic Business Reviews (PBR) $1,000 Quarterly Unlimited Unlimited
Complimentary Quick Chats (CQC) Included Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Interfacing with Lenders, Attorneys, Financial Planners $500   Unlimited Unlimited
       
Financial Analysis      
QuickBooks, Xero Consulting $500  
Fractional Controller (Bookkeeping) NA Add-On Add-On Add-On
Financial Statements Analysis, Comparisons $1,200   Quarterly Quarterly
Cash Flow Management and Analysis $750 to $1,000    
First Research Industry Reports, Industry-Focused Consulting $250
National and Metro Economic Reports $150
KPI Analysis, Benchmarking, Hot Sheets, Trend Analysis $750 to $1,000
Budgeting, Forecasting, Goal-Setting $750 to $1,000
       
Strategy and Maintenance      
C-Level Financial Advice and Strategic Planning Included    
Succession Planning, Ownership Changes Consultation $750 to $1,000
Annual Business Valuation $2,500 to $3,000
Annual Corporate Governance, Resolutions, Meetings $150  
       
Annual Fee $2,940 $5,580 $8,160
Monthly Fee $245 $465 $680

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 from us, let’s chat about it! The following are teased out separately as one and done fees like formation and onboarding stuff.

Formation

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 Included
Single Member Operating Agreement (SMLLC) Included
MS Word Templated Bylaws Agreement (Corporations) Included
S Corp Election, Timely Election Included
Accountable Plan Included

Onboarding

Payroll Accounts Setup or Transfer $300 to $450
Bookkeeping Setup or Transfer (Fractional Controller) $300
QuickStart QuickBooks Setup and Support (90 days) $550
Late S Corp Election Back to January 2019 $375
Examine Prior Tax Returns Included

Note: A la Carte fee ranges are approximates. 90% 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 $2,500. We also are assuming one state; if your business spans the galaxy (keeping with our stormtrooper motif) then additional fees will be discussed with you and implemented. Typically each state is around $250 since it affects both your business and individual tax returns (frankly, state apportionment is a pain in the butt, but it is our pain).

Couple of other things to keep in mind- 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.

You can prepare your own individual tax return as well… but the benefit WCG preparing both tax returns is that we slide things around depending on income limitations, phaseouts, alternative minimum tax (AMT), Section 199A deduction optimization, etc. Having our arms around both can yield some good tax savings!

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 fixed amount of $1,300 (both business entity and individual tax returns). 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 2020 but the monthly fee will later decrease in January of 2021 to reflect the amounts above. Yeah, we make it sound like 2021 is just around the corner.

nobs

No BS

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.

Section 199A Deduction Optimization

Section 199A is a derivative of the recent Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017. In a nutshell, business owners including rental property owners will enjoy a 20% deduction based on the qualified business income. There are limitations based on income, W-2 wages and depreciation. As a result, there is some optimization that is necessary for a small business owner to get the most from the Section 199A deduction. On one hand we want to reduce W-2 salaries to shareholders to minimize self-employment taxes. On the other hand, we want to increase W-2 salaries so they do not limit the amount of Section 199A that is deducted. Read our full Section 199A Qualified Business Income article by clicking on the button below-

Our Business Expertise

Small Business Expert

As mentioned elsewhere we primarily focus on small business owners and their unique consultation and tax preparation needs. With over 30 full-time consultation professionals including Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents and Certified Financial Planners on our team, WCG consults on corporate structures, 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 modeling and tax representation.

With our Aspen Business Advisory Services plan above, we are your fractional Chief Financial Officer.

We also work with business law attorneys in California, Texas and Colorado for business owners who have additional needs such as buying or selling a business including employee stock ownership plans and partner buy-ins. We also coordinate with 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 so the communication is effective and efficient.

The button below links to our Periodic Business Review (PBR) Agenda. We use this throughout the year as a checklist for our business clients. We can also use it for any type of business consultation. Here are some other buttons that you might be interested in as well.

Click the button below to schedule a 40 minute consultation. Our fee is $150, but we credit that back to you if you decide to engage us for future services. Low risk, high- reward.

How does all this work? Let’s chat and figured it out together!

Business Valuation

Business Valuation

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 $250 with a retainer of $2,500 to $3,000 depending on the complexity of the case. Depositions and trial testimony are $350 per hour (possibly with an additional retainer).

Small Business Bookkeeping

WCG has recently introduced a new bookkeeping function for business owners as your Fractional Controller. We will use Bench as our back office engine since we believe they remain an amazing and cost-effective approach to small business bookkeeping and financial reporting. However, we take over the interfacing, monitoring and financial statement delivery… a hands off option for you. Your first and only call is to us.

We have a similar relationship with ADP, and for the past 3 years it has worked very well. They do all the heavy lifting, and WCG does all the interfacing.

A one throat to choke approach. Does this sound like a solution worth considering? We believe so!

Additional Fees

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 find re-work all my numbers.” $150 / hr
Extensive research, coordinating with attorneys, business consultation, writing correspondence (CPA or Partner) $150 / hr to $250 / hr
Tax representation and audit assistance; typical case is resolved in two 2-hour sessions $750 retainer,
$250 / hr
Lender or “comfort” letters $150 to $600
Business Valuations $2,500 – $3,000 retainer,
$250 / hr
Divorce Analysis, Litigation Support $200 / hr,
$350 / hr for court
Admin Assistant or Staff Accountant billable rate $90 / hr
Tax Senior billable rate $150 / hr
Tax Manager billable rate $225 / hr
Partner billable rate (Tina, Michelle, Sally and Jason) $300 / hr
1 hour flat rate initial business consultation (click to schedule) $250

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.