We have had the priviledge of filing both US and Canadian tax returns for the past 7 years, five of which were during our time in the US, and the past two in Canada. We still hold Green Cards so are required to file returns with the US based on our worldwide income.
As part of our relocation package when we moved to Canada, Z’s employer engaged a major accounting firm to do our taxes for the past two years. We (and by that I mean “I”) had to fill out long spreadsheets with information about our financial situation, collect all the slips, etc. and submit them to **major accounting firm**. They did the forms, e-filed the Canadian ones and shipped to US ones to us to sign and mail. All at no charge to us. They billed Z’s employer directly and we never saw the charges.
This year, we are responsible for our own tax prep, so we contacted **major accounting firm** for a quote. Get ready….they quoted us $2500-$3000. Plus I get to spend hours filling out their spreadsheets for them. To file one Canadian return and one US return. US return includes a couple of minor financial transactions in the US. Canadian return is for an employee with pretty standard deductions.
After we picked ourselves up off the floor, I decided to contact **as-seen-on-TV chain tax prep service** at one of their local offices close to us. I was referred to another office slightly farther away where they do US returns. Total quote: $400. All I have to do is bring all my slips and last year’s return to the office, chat with Laxmi for a few minutes, and we’re done. They’re even on the subway so I don’t need to drive downtown and pay for parking. I mentioned to Laxmi that I had last years info from **major accounting firm** and that her price was WAY lower than theirs. She told me outright that they have MANY clients fleeing this price gouging.
I feel like I just earned $2000.