The first thing to focus on is getting organized. Do not walk into a tax preparers office with a shoebox of receipts. Preparers base rates on how complicated your return is likely to be and a large part of that is record keeping. Show up for your appointment with carefully organized records and you will pay less.
Be sure to hunt for coupon codes. Check out the long list of tax discounts at coupon sites including CouponShack.com and Savings.com. Jackson Hewitt offers a printout coupon good for 20% off through the end of the year. Link through to H&R Block from one of the sites and you'll save 15% on online preparations.
Take advantage of rebates. Reward sites are offing cash back when you link to the preparer through their site and pay for your tax preparations. Ebates.com, for example, offers 25% back at OnePriceTaxes.com, 15% at Complete Taxes and 11% at H&R Block.
Filing late isn't always a bad thing when it comes to saving money. Some preparers will cut their rates by 15% or more if you'll file an extension and let them prepare your return after April 15. But, you'll still have to pay any taxes you expect to owe by the April 15th deadline.
For more information on saving on tax preparations and other consumer tips click here.
Kelli Grant & Erika Wortham