How much do accountants charge for tax returns

Hi there, was just wondering if anyone can give me an idea what their accountant charges for doing a tax return. My husband's seems a bit pricey especially as it's a fairly straightforward return (he's a self-employed plasterer - no employees). I would have a stab at doing it myself but unfortunately banks want certified accounts if you need to get a loan.


  • chrismac1
    chrismac1 Forumite Posts: 2,585 Forumite
    This sounds like not just a tax return, but also a proper set of accounts as well. For a box standard tax return it is anything from £80 plus VAT to £150 plus VAT in my locality.

    For a proper set of accounts, much depends on how orderly the records are. So for example:

    1. Separate business bank account.
    2. Very good separation of business spends from personal spends.
    3. Good invoicing records in sequential order.
    4. Good control and identification of sales paid for in cash, and purchases made using cash.
    5. Complete set of business bank statements and corporate card statements.
    6. Loan and HP agreements filed and clearly tie in to the bank statements.
    7. Supplier invoices filed in an orderly manner in date order or supplier order.

    If all of the above are present and it takes just one hit to get them - with maybe just a few snagging items - then you could be looking at £200 plus VAT for the whole thing, accounts and tax. I have a plasterer client who meets all of the above and have no problems with this fee.

    If none of the above is present you could be looking at double this and even more. You can PM me for a fixed price quote if you want. At least you could use this to negotiate your existing accountant down!
    Hideous Muddles from Right Charlies
  • Pennywise
    Pennywise Forumite Posts: 13,460
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    The biggest factor in accountancy fees is the quality, accuracy and completeness of the records. If he just presents the account with a carrier bag of screwed up receipts then he'll probably pay 2, 3 or even 4 times the amount than if he gave the accountant a complete, analysed set of "books" with the receipts etc properly filed, complete in date order.

    Why not ask the accountant what you/he can do to improve the records given and reduce the accountant's work. It's a bit unfair to think about moving accountants and then doing things differently for the new firm if you've not asked the existing one for options.

    He also has to consider whether he'd rather pay another hundred or two to the accountant to do it all for him or whether he's (or you are) willing to up the ante and do better book-keeping, which may take another hour or two per week. Some people are happy to pay their accountant to do it so they don't have to!

    I would charge anywhere between £150 and £500 for a self employed plasterer or similar, dependent on the quality/completeness of the records presented to me.
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