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Fees for landlord tax returns

Are these costs reasonable

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I have a client who earns over 100K and owns one property with his wife (split 99:1 having transferred beneficial interest to his wife).  His wife is working.

I charge him and his wife £300 each for a self assessment tax return

He has been told by someone else that these charges are double than what is the norm and wants a substantial discount.  I do normally charge £250 for a simple tax return but thinking if its a couple should I discount it accordingly ? 

I am not somone who just files tax returns but do try to support clients on ways of reducing taxes as well as offering advice on reducing costs incurred on running their property business hence why I may be a little more expensive than others

Would be interested in your thoughts.

 

Replies (21)

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
09th Dec 2019 11:34

How long does it take to calculate entries , especially L & P,for the SA returns?

I certainly would likely have done these for a lot less but I was pretty cheap having no office overhead costs;, when you are only having to really cover software, subs,insurance, publications and CPD it is pretty easy to be cheap.

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My photo
By Matrix
09th Dec 2019 11:41

In my view those fees are spot on.

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Replying to Matrix:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
09th Dec 2019 11:51

Matrix wrote:

In my view those fees are spot on.

I agree.
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Replying to Red Leader:
Scooby
By gainsborough
09th Dec 2019 13:54

Me too.

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By Roland195
09th Dec 2019 12:05

To me, £300 + VAT each is slightly on the expensive side given one jointly owned property.

Unless you meant £300 in total, discounted from £500 ,£250 each in which case I think it's more than reasonable.

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By JDBENJAMIN
09th Dec 2019 12:20

Your charges are about right for a High street firm, but they are uncompetitive compared to a home based practitioner like me. I would charge £300 for both of them combined.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
09th Dec 2019 12:24

I would have billed £299+VAT for one property from agent & mortgage statements. They may take an hour, may take 3 or 4 if there are problems, but most are done in about 1-2 hours all in which I think it is a fair return.

£399+VAT for a tack on, so long as the only wife's entry was the P60, having said that I think we are too cheap for tack-on's given the number of queries you get now on returns from HMRC's end, and was thinking of pushing that to £150+VAT minum as a tack on. We are £200+VAT minimum for any return as a standalone.

I would however say in your case, "how much did you quote?" screw what his mate in the pub said.

On a wider point, Is your client comparing some of our esteemed members who seem from other threads to do little more than copy over client totals into the returns rather than actually look at the detail and get it right? In which case £100 each would be a lot IMO for a transference of garbage from one form to another.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
09th Dec 2019 12:46

That would be too expensive on my manor, but nice if you can get it. I suppose it depends on how much you want the work. IF that is what you charge everyone stick to your guns.

We don't really push for tax work so most of our fees or for director returns where we look after the companies for decent fees so maybe are too low for SA returns.

I also have had no last minute requests for new tax returns this year which is odd, although I am not bothered as will get on with some proper work in January instead.

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By Wanderer
09th Dec 2019 13:12

taxwizard wrote:

I charge him and his wife £300 each for a self assessment tax return

He has been told by someone else that these charges are double than what is the norm and wants a substantial discount.  ? 

Your prices are fine, He's joking if he expects you to charge half what you do. I would call his bluff. Certainly wouldn't reduce my charge. If you do then he may well come back that he wants past year's fees refunded as well "because you must have been overcharging then".
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By Mr_awol
09th Dec 2019 13:20

If they are very very straightforward (P60 each, rental from agents' statements and mortgage interest claim) you are charging a bit too much I feel. That said, it might end up being P60, P11D, pension contributions, charitable donations, bank interest on various savings accounts and a small share portfolio plus having to forage through personal bank statements to knock up some basic rental accounts. In that case you're probably in the right ball park if a little toppy.

If I had them in and it was very straight forward I might go as low as £450, maybe £500, for the pair of them. That's a small H&W discount. Plus VAT obviously.

I assume there must be something more to it though as you admit your basic TR cost is £250 and you're charging them £300 each - so there must be some work at least to create the rental statement?

If he wants a 'substantial' discount he's probably off anyway. I dare say he can get the same result from a one man band for about £400 all in - maybe less if there's no VAT to pay.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
09th Dec 2019 14:24

Depends where you live but I wouldn't have charged that much for a single property + employment income.

If I didn't have to chase the taxpayer, I'd be disappointed if I couldn't knock that off in an hour.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
boat
By SouthCoastAcc
09th Dec 2019 14:33

Maybe its just me, but there is always something missing.

Oh and there are the questions, is this deductible, whats my CGT position if I sell now etc etc

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boat
By SouthCoastAcc
09th Dec 2019 14:31

I'd estimate £500 in total, so you aren't massively out from my fees.

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Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
09th Dec 2019 15:40

"I am not somone who just files tax returns but do try to support clients on ways of reducing taxes as well as offering advice on reducing costs incurred on running their property business hence why I may be a little more expensive than others"

Strange, isn't it, how service is often overlooked these days.

And it's seemingly those who enjoy (relatively) high earnings, who want a bargain. Would £450 overall, secure the future? Otherwise, please close the door, as you leave.

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blue sheep
By NH
09th Dec 2019 16:29

depends what they want, I have one client like this that spends an hour going through all the figures as he gives them to me and then expects another meeting once they are done. But if you never have to meet the client and the records are neat this is less than an hours work, £300 in total tops

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By taxwizard
09th Dec 2019 17:07

Many Thanks for the replies

I just wondered if there were any fee comparison surveys. I may want to send my client something as evidence that we are not being too greedy.

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By SXGuy
09th Dec 2019 17:44

In my opinion. I charge just over half that for rental property returns and less than what you charge for standard returns. However that being said with standard returns comes the cost of accounts so I guess if all I did was an SA I may be inclined to increase my fee but I'd not be very competitive.

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By penelope pitstop
09th Dec 2019 18:03

Remember to tell client that true cost after tax relief is more like £420:
Maybe?
£300 x 60% = £180
£300 x 80% = £240
Equals £420
A little easier to swallow?

For £300 I would earmark 1.5 days' work. If it is 2 days' work (including billing time etc.) then I would increase it to £400.

I find that £100 per day is just too little these days.

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
09th Dec 2019 18:23

Sorry- do you not mean hours not days?

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
blue sheep
By NH
09th Dec 2019 19:08

100 a day would barely cover the overheads (presume you mean hour lol)

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