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A lot of small accounting firms charge a fee based more on the amount of time it takes to prepare the tax return than the number of forms or type of forms required.

I for one have gone to charging by the form. I only resort to time-based fees when there's problems that take much longer than normal.

My thinking is much like that of a doctor: time spent cutting and sewing $x. Knowing where to cut $XXX. If I don't charge for my knowledge, then I'm shooting myself in the foot by working efficiently. Because I know how to do tax returns quickly (and have spent some money on tools to assist with that) I need to charge based on the knowledge required for the issue the taxpayer has.

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