Minimizing your costs to file taxes

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — We are in the middle of tax-filing season and maybe you haven’t filed yet because you’re anticipating how much you’ll have to pay!  When you talk to your friends you’ll hear a range of costs that people pay to have a professional file their taxes for them. Since your money is important to you, News 8 talked to a tax expert about where the costs come from and how much you should be paying.

It’s tax season and preparers are competing for your business and you hear a range of costs to get it done from free to hundreds of dollars.

Why the big range? H&R Block’s Jason Huot told us the price is based on how complex the form is, how many pages and how much time is required.

“You went to school, now you’re on a 1040A, there are credits involved there. If you make your employment through self-employment. That is going to bump the price up very high,” he said.

He showed us forms that are very simple and are cheap or free to file, people who only have a job and no kids, house or anything like that. There are also the complex forms for people who have their own business.

You should always expect to pay more when a preparer plans to defend you if you get audited, a service that goes a long way.

In fact consider it a red flag if you’re charged a flat rate before they even look at your papers, if they want to charge you a percentage of your refund and if the taxes aren’t signed by the person who filed them. These are all signs they may not be done right and you won’t be protected.

There are other fees that can add up, did you know some places charge a fee for just sitting there?

“Some shops do charge a sitting fee, which means you sat there, you talked about your taxes, then they charge you a fee without filing a single form,” Huot added.

Ask about their processing fees before you even get started.

You won’t want to hear this but some of this comes down to you and how organized you are. If you bring a box of messy papers down to a preparer and expect for them to organize your life and file your taxes for under $100, you’re in for a rude awakening.

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