affordable tax preparation -


Hi David,

Would you have any referrals to a tax preparation expert? I have been working with an accountant for the last 3 years and the rates have shot up exponentially!

I have some rental investments, don't have many complicated transactions and I think I am a pretty easy client to file for but I think $600 to file my taxes is pretty extreme and no, I'm not incorporated.

Any tips would help. thanks!
yes, I am starting to look very early from tax season.
david ingram replies with an 'overkill' answer.

And I am willing to bet that your demands upon his or her time has also gone up exponentially as you ask questions about your real estate investments, whether you should be claiming depreciation or CCA or how to make your mortgage deductible (read the Nov 2001 Newsletter in the top left hand box at, whether you can pay money to your wife or daughter or son, whether your car is deductible if you use it to take a lawn mower over to cut the grass or whether you should buy an RRSP or IRA or pay down the mortgage on your own house (pay down the mortgage).  My suggestion is that price is NEVER the reason to change tax advisors  if the advice is correct. 

And beware when your tax advisor is getting you too much.  I have not done a Problem Canadian Advisor newsletter yet but anyone and everyone should read my US tax advisor newsletter wherein I name over 100 US tax advisors (and 3 Canadian) and THEIR CLIENTS  who went to jail for too aggressive or plain illegal tax avoidance/evasion strategies in 2004 and 2005 alone.  Read it at:

 HOWEVER you asked, so here goes -

The time to find your tax advisor is now or even better in July.

Although busy now there is no immediate deadline coming up in a month or two weeks or tomorrow and for the most part, I (as an example) am not starting to think about the next thing I have to do half way through my time with you. There have been single days in March and April when we have turned down over 100 people.  April 30, 2006 was something like 142 as one example.

I presume that everyone in my business would feel and react somewhat the same at this time of year. BUT I for one, do not entertain, fishing or exploratory meetings to see if someone wants to deal with me.  I just do not have the time to waste because everyone of those exploratory meetings involves asking the kind of question that I charge for.  As an example, in the last couple of weeks, I had a fellow here for a $400 consultation which turned out to be an exploratory meeting on his part.  He has since brought in about $6,000 worth of catch up multiple returns and multiple years for the US and Canada to be done. He told me that I was the 10th or 11th person he had seen  and the only one who had charged him.  He had spent two HOURS on the phone with someone in Connecticut for instance.

So whether you are in Brandon Manitoba  or Brandon Vermont or Brandon South Dakota or Brandon Florida or Brandon England, Ottawa Ontario or Ottawa Kansas or Ottawa Wisconsin or Ottawa Illinois, Vancouver BC or Vancouver Washington, Moose Jaw, Calgary, Chicago, Sacramento, Miami, Paris, Berlin, London  or Moncton, this 'is' the time to find your new person. However, if you are shopping by price, be prepared for three things:
1.    a less effective tax return and
2.    no advice. 
3.   little time for you when you do have a problem.

You see 'any' amount of advice takes away from the time to prepare the return and is likely worth $200 to $400 by itself if the correct advice.

For instance, my minimum advice time charge has been $400 for the last three years and about to go up to $450.00.

If you came to see me for advice, I would charge you $400.00 If you then decided you wanted the tax return done with 2 rentals, I would charge you an additional $550 according to the guideline below.  Three rentals I would likely charge $700.00.  I definitely charge more to talk than I do to 'do' in most cases.

I have been charging a minimum of $400 and a usual $800 to $2,800 for the last three years and am debating whether to go to $900 to $2,900 or $1,000  to $3,000 for my dual country tax returns.

We specialize in two country tax returns. However, we also do have a price guideline for single country tax returns.  (there is also a very detailed list which we rarely use because it just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense with computerization).

And, since more than half or our clients are in the US, their fees are going up very much because of the  value of the dollar.  For most of my US clients, my fee has now gone up some 40% in the last two years without my changing it a single dollar.
I have just looked and realized that I have spent over 3 hours answering this simple question but I am going to use it as my 'forever' answer to the question and it will be saved and added to in the future.
The  following disclaimer contains our suggested price guidelines. I have them there for you to compare.  Very few of us post a price list but I know that Kevyn Nightingale in Toronto ( ) used to have his prices posted but I just went to look (for my own edification) and could not find any today. Kevyn (Toronto 416-250-1212), Gary Gauvin (Dallas 469-273-3399), Brad Howland (Victoria 250-598-6258), Steve Peters (Halifax 902-492-6011), Steve Katz (Vancouver 604-732-1515), Rick Bennett (Vancouver 604-801-5747)  and Len Vandenberg (Kelowna 250-763-7600) are others that I regularly recommend when someone needs someone else to look after their US / Canada Income Tax Returns.

On November 10, 2007, David Ingram wrote:

It is very unlikely that blind or unexpected email to me will be answered.  I receive anywhere from 100 to 700  unsolicited emails a day and usually answer anywhere from 2 to 20 if they are not from existing clients.  Existing clients are advised to put their 'name and PAYING CUSTOMER' in the subject line and get answered first.  I also refuse to be a slave to email and do not look at it every day and have never ever looked at it when I am out of town. 
e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help
However, I regularly search for the words"PAYING CUSTOMER" and always answer them first if they did not get spammed out. For the last two weeks, I have just found out that my own email notes to myself have been spammed out and as an example, as I write this on Oct 18, 2007 since June 16th (124 days), my 'spammed out' box has 34,939 unread messages, my deleted box has 11854 I have actually looked at and deleted and I have actually answered 1078 email questions for clients and strangers without sending a bill.  I have also put aside 622 messages that I am maybe going to try and answer because they look interesting. -e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help
Therefore, if an email is not answered in 24 to 36 hours, it is likely lost in space.  You can try and resend it but if important AND YOU TRULY WANT OR NEED AN ANSWER from 'me', you will have to phone to make an appointment.  Gillian Bryan generally accepts appointment requests for me between 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday to Friday VANCOUVER (Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles) time at (604) 980-0321.  david ingram expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
david ingram's US / Canada Services
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My Home office is at:
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(604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325

Calls welcomed from 10 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week  Vancouver (LA) time -  (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as this is a home office) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
Disclaimer:  This question has been answered without detailed information or consultation and is to be regarded only as general comment.   Nothing in this message is or should be construed as advice in any particular circumstances. No contract exists between the reader and the author and any and all non-contractual duties are expressly denied. All readers should obtain formal advice from a competent and appropriately qualified legal practitioner or tax specialist for expert help, assistance, preparation, or consultation  in connection with personal or business affairs such as at If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included." e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
David Ingram gives expert income tax & immigration help to non-resident Americans & Canadians from New York to California to Mexico  family, estate, income trust trusts Cross border, dual citizen - out of country investments are all handled with competence & authority.
Phone consultations are $400 for 15 minutes to 50 minutes (professional hour). Please note that GST is added if product remains in Canada or is to be returned to Canada or a phone consultation is in Canada. expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $2,900 for a dual country tax return.
$900 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only (but were filing both countries) - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
$1,100 would be the same with one rental
$1,300 would be the same with one business no rental
$1,300 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes.
$1,600 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits  no move in or out

$1,700 would be for two people with income from two countries

$2,900 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country.
This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns
We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection period) with two or three slips and no capital gains, etc. for $200.00 up.
With a Rental for $400, two or three rentals for $550 to $700 (i.e. $150 per rental) First year Rental - plus $250.
A Business for $400 - Rental and business likely $550 to $700
And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit more if there is a state return.
Moving in or out of the country or part year earnings in the US will ALWAYS be $900 and up.
TDF 90-22.1 forms are $50 for the first and $25.00 each after that when part of a tax return.
8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each.
18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple)
Capital gains *sales)  are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each after that.

Catch - up returns for the US where we use the Canadian return as a guide for seven years at a time will be $150 to $500.00 per year depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, self employment, etc.

Just a guideline not etched in stone.
This from "ask an income trusts tax and immigration expert" from or or David Ingram deals on a daily basis with expatriate tax returns with multi jurisdictional cross and trans border expatriate problems  for the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Georgia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii, Florida, Montana, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Bangkok, Greenland, Iceland, Cuba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, St Vincent, Grenada,, Virgin Islands, US, UK, GB, and any of the 43 states with state tax returns, etc. Rockwall, Dallas, San Antonio Houston, Denmark, Finland, Sweden Norway Bulgaria Croatia Income Tax and Immigration Tips, Income Tax  Immigration Wizard Antarctica Rwanda Guru  Consultant Specialist Section 216(4) 216(1) NR6 NR-6 NR 6 Non-Resident Real Estate tax specialist expert preparer expatriate anti money laundering money seasoning FINTRAC E677 E667 105 106 TDF-90 Reporting $10,000 cross border transactions Grand Cayman Aruba Zimbabwe South Africa Namibia help USA US Income Tax Convention. Advice on bankruptcy  e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.

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