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I am a small time tax preparer for only a few clients. I live too far away from the city to gather more clients, and most of the folks around here are too cheap (or on welfare, etc.) to have taxes done.

What tax software is suited for a startup(1 person shop)which will be mostly for individual 1040s and associated schedules?

I use taxact (
They have a professional version ($79.-) which includes some of the features mentioned for the Lacerte software ( I have heard/read about this software, but am not familiar with). If you want to file taxes electronically, you need to get a EOR filer number (or whatever that is called). Their website gives you a free version2000 to download to look at and play with and also advises you of the electronic IRS filer number requirement. Might get a bit late to apply for such IRS number.

... some guidance regarding a pricing schedule?

How about you charge by the hour. tell your clients that you charge xxx amount per hour.
If that does not work, I'll tell you what I charge.
$45.- is the lowest, does NOT include electronic filing ($10 extra, as it cost's me $7.95 to do that). That is basically a person/couple with two W-2 and I'll get a 1040 for them. The client get's two copies (one for IRS and one for keepsakes) of the 1040, with instruction where to sign and even an envelope to send everything to IRS.
All that can easily be done in an hour.

Another client has a small (hardly profitable business) and is also an investor. So, a simple Schedule C, a complicated Schedule D and the 1040 (with all other relevant forms) cost him $225.

Keep in mind, the area I live is not innundated with $$$ and I am actually doing it more for the fun of it then to make a living (which I could not).

Also, did you already get your PTIN number.
As you know, every preparer (sole prop.) has to sign the 1040 with either a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) number or your Soc. Sec. number. Since I am not too fond of spreading my Soc.Sec. around, I applied for a PTIN number a few month's back - and received it within about 6 weeks.

Hope that helps.
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