Fee Structure

tax preparation fees

Tax Preparation Fees

Posted September 15, 2018


The Watson CPA Group prides itself in being transparent and having a simple fee structure. Most business services and tax returns 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. We only have time on this earth to sell and we cannot inventory it. Therefore, our fees are an attempt to coincide with expected time spent. In addition, we try to maintain historical fees for returning clients. Remember this however 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. 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.
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.
Our fee is $150 for 40 minutes. If we engage into future services we will credit the $150 towards future professional fees. Get solid answers right away! If we don’t have the competency we will tell you that as well, and refund the consult fee.
We can create an LLC, partnership or corporation 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.
We can have your entity taxed as an S corporation for $300. We also easily elect late S Corp elections back to Jan 1 2018 for $375. You can quickly save 8 to 10% on your net business income by reducing self-employment taxes! Yay!
Accounting service through our partners is typically $250 to $400 per month or $500 to $750 per quarter, depending on your reporting cadence. Turn-key payroll up to 10 employees paid bi-weekly with direct deposit is $160 per month.

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

S Corp Package

The Watson CPA Group specializes in S corporations which have a small number of shareholders, and are often just a one-person show. Did you know that 95% of all S Corps have only one shareholder, and 99% of all S Corps have three or fewer shareholders? Because small business is a core competency for us, we have created an S corp package that includes the following (No, the S doesn’t stand for stormtrooper)-


  A la Carte* Aspen Vail Breck Keystone
S Corp Reasonable Salary Calculation (sample report) $400 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Section 199A QBID Tax Optimization (more info) $300 Yes Yes Yes Yes
S Corp Payroll Filings and Deposits $1,200 Yes Yes    
Annual Processing (W2s and other filings) inc. Yes Yes    
S Corporation Tax Prep (Form 1120S) $800 to $1,200 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Individual Tax Prep (Form 1040), One Owner $500 to $700 Yes   Yes  
Estimated Tax Payments (done thru payroll or directly by us) $300 Yes Yes Yes Yes
2018 Tax Planning, Mock Tax Returns (Tax Questionnaire) $300 to $500 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Unlimited Consultation and Periodic Business Reviews (PBR) $1,200 Yes Yes Yes Yes
First Research Industry Reports (sample report) $150 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Small Business Tax Deductions Optimization inc. Yes Yes Yes Yes
IRS Audit Defense NA Yes   Yes  
Annual Fee   $2,940 $2,640 $2,460 $2,160
Monthly Fee   $245 $220 $205 $180

* 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.


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! And… the benefit of the Watson CPA Group 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- Since only 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 corporate and personal). 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 2018 but the monthly fee will later decrease in January of 2019 to reflect the amounts above. Yeah, we make it sound like 2019 is just around the corner.


nobsNo 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-



business expertOur Business Expertise

As mentioned elsewhere we primarily focus on small business owners and their unique consultation and tax preparation needs. With 16 full-time consultation professionals including Certified Public Accountants and Certified Financial Planners on our team, the Watson CPA Group 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.


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!


Business ValuationBusiness Valuation

Jason Watson is trained by the American Institute of CPAs and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts 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 $200 with a retainer of $2,500 to $3,000 depending on the complexity of the case.


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-


Any tax returns that require paper filing $90 / tax year
Copying and returning of original tax documents $45
Taxpayers who introduce significant changes or additions
after a preliminary tax return is prepared
$150 / hr
QuickBooks help and setup, reconstructing financial statements,
tallying receipts or invoices
$90 / 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
$600 retainer
$150 / hr
Staff Accountant billable rate $90 / hr
CPA billable rate $150 / hr
Partner billable rate (Tina, Jason and Sally) $250 / 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.