How to reduce tax-prep costs? By Robert Trosten
Robert Trosten

How to reduce tax-prep costs? By Robert Trosten

It is time to file tax returns for everyone. Since no one wants to make an error to avoid penalties or inconvenience, most people use either tax software or human tax preparers for help. Both these involve considerable costs. You cannot expect a tax prep tool to be available for less than $100 and a human assistant to charge anything less than $203 on average. If you are not ready for such a scenario this time after COVID-19, you should not worry. According to Robert Trosten, there are ways to bring down your tax preparation costs. Here are some insights.

Robert Trosten: Ways to cut down tax prep expenses

Free file program

One of the credible 2021 tax studies shows that nearly 56% of the people will file their federal returns themselves, and many will use tax software for this task. Still, you can avoid paying for software. However, for this, your adjusted gross income has to be $72,000 or lower. If you can ensure this, you can access this tool for free at many places using the IRS Free File program. You can visit The Internal Revenue Service website for details.


Although tax software companies usually don’t offer free tools, they still give access to free versions for simple tax filing jobs. However, every company can have a specific term and condition. You can expect to benefit if you are into service and don’t have any itemized deductions. The tool may not be accessible for free for business owners, investors, and others. For information, you can visit any tax software company’s website.


According to Robert Trosten, you can avoid the average charge of $203 for hiring a human for tax preparation. Many people offer discounts. Studies also suggest that almost half of these people provide concessions to client’s family members. About 40% of tax pros reduce their fees for students and 29% for seniors. New clients and repeat customers, including police, clergy members, and veterans, can also expect discounts. You need to talk to them to figure out if you also qualify for any such thing.

Free tax clinics

Federal government-funded voluntary programs or clinics can help people with disabilities, language challenges, and weak economic backgrounds with income tax return filing. People aged 60 or more can also access free tax counseling services. All these clinics can be available across 50 American states. However, you have to find out if they are open or offer virtual assistance as many had to shut down due to the pandemic. You can again visit the IRS website for information on this.

Since the tax filing ritual happens every year and you have to provide accurate details, you may not bother paying a few extra dollars for its smooth processing. But it has been a difficult time for everyone, even financially. Hence, it will be better to use and save your hard-earned money wisely. If you can find a way to save a few dollars, you should go after it. Ultimately, you need to get your job done, and if it happens without incurring anything extra, nothing can compare to the feeling of satisfaction derived from the activity.