Tax preparation services are full-service offerings to complete your annual tax filing forms for the IRS and, if needed, state tax agencies. Unlike online and desktop tax preparation software where you do your own taxes, a tax preparation service will review your tax forms and complete your taxes for you.
Some tax preparation services are available through local offices in-person. Others give you access to a preparer or team of preparers online through a mobile app or website.
Tax preparation services are best for anyone who doesn’t want to do their own taxes for any reason. Whether you’re looking to save time, don’t know how to handle a complex tax situation, or just don’t like doing math or using computers for your finances, a tax preparation service becomes a good choice for you.
It’s important to note that you can likely save money doing your own taxes manually or with tax preparation software. Depending on your income and tax complexity, you may even have an option to do your taxes online for free. It is entirely up to taxpayers to use what gives them the most confidence in sending off IRS-related forms.
Tax preparation service costs vary based on the provider you choose and the complexities of your taxes. Of the services we reviewed, there were limited options under $100 and those would only work for basic taxes with no state filing. Most tax filers should expect to pay around $150 or more for federal and state tax preparation. Some tax preparers charge a flat rate while others may charge a fee per additional form you submit.