How others bill for investment slips?

I’ve seen taxpayers pay $20/slip for T3/T5/RRSP/etc.

This taxpayer has 80+ transactions for investments in 2022 with two investment accounts.

One brokerage provided a T5008 slip and supplemental Canadian security reporting list for 2022.
Other brokerage provided a T5008 with all the individual investments listed with their cost and proceeds on the slip.

There is an auto-fill my return with this taxpayer on file so all the slips were imported, however, the imported information was reviewed against the documents.

Can anyone tell me what they would normally bill for a service like this or their approach?

Thank you kindly

The number of T5008 forms is misleading. I’ve seen statements where the client has MANY T5008 forms but the total on the SLIPS screen can be verified to the summary T5008 statement provided by the investment advisor. Therefore, I don’t need to go through each slip.

Sometimes 1 single T5008 can chew up a lot of time if you have to verify the cost of a foreign investment. Surely that client shouldn’t pay less than the client with 20 T5008’s that can easily be checked to a summary total.

I bill based roughly on how much time I need or expect to spend on the return, among other factors.


Lo these many years ago when I was a young buck, I worked for two years for H&R, who charged everything per-slip or per-schedule.

I hated it.

When I started my own practice back in the early '80s I used Timeslips and tracked all my activities.

I hated it.

Then I started billing by “value”. Tax prep is a value-added service, not because I grind through a return, but because on doing so I often ask questions that lead to more interesting situations and possibilities. Not always, and with existing clients whom I know well, that’s a non-issue. But still…if they were inclined to do so, they’d do the return themselves…and they don’t.

So: I bill everything entirely on perceived value, part of which is seeing what others in the same market charge and/or just making it up as I go along. At the end of the day, it reflects the time spent and the relative difficulty of the preparation or knowledge required.

In @kevin’s comment above…quite right: knowing what to do and how to properly handle a situation is a LOT more part of the solution than the time putting in the three or four amounts you need because you already know what to do, have spent time in the past working that out…and that has a value. Charge accordingly.


I charge $200 for a basic return which includes various downloaded slips and up to about 20 typed in slips like donations and medical. I charge extra for investment stuff if I have to track down costs or exchange rates for US costs or the list of downloaded slips doesn’t match up with the summary provided by the client from the brokerage house or I have type in T1135 info. I also charge extra for rentals and self employed among other things. I essentially value bill and have set prices for different types of returns.


Agreed. A lot of the time the “20 T5008s” are actually 1 T5008 with 20 transactions. I group them all as I download them from AFR, or download them to excel and reconcile them there. Very little time is spent that way.

But tracking down costs for some older holdings, or foreign holdings can be a nightmare and gets billed for at a much higher rate!

I’ve just finished a return with 21 T3’s and 60 T5008’s. Rather than import these, I exported to Excel, cleaned up the spreadsheet and matched each to the year’s trading summary. I matched the T3 spreadsheet entries to actual paper T3 slips. That, plus a bunch of medical took about 5 hrs. Told client his bill would be $700-$800 next year so he can be prepared. A lot of investment advisors group similar clients and do a ton of trades and allocate among clients of a particular group. They have no idea what’s involved to ensure these transactions are properly reported. This particular client paid $1,300 in fees, lost $3,000 on trades (capital loss) and had investment income of $1,600. Net cash loss $3,000.

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It always amazes me when an Investment Advisor charges fees to manage a clients money… then turns around and subcontracts that task out by dumping the clients savings into a series of mutual funds… to which some fund manager charges another (albeit hidden) fee for managing that same money. :upside_down_face:

If people only knew… :slightly_smiling_face:

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You’re talking about Management Expense Ratio (MER) the investment advisor is not allowed to double dip. The Mutual Fund or Segfund company charges a hidden fee ranging from .0.75% to 1.5% Assets Under Management. The total MER might be 2.5% In this example The investment dealer will show on the statement what portion of the MER the dealer has received.

I’m not talking about the investment dealer getting a kickback from the fund company.

Mutual fund and Segregated fund companies don’t operate for free. Apart from the direct costs related to buying and selling securities under management and paying their investment team to make trades within the fund they also have costs such as marketing, legal, accounting & auditing, customer service, rent, office supplies, and other administrative expenses. None of these costs have anything to do with the investment dealer and all of these costs need to be paid before any type of return is distributed to the investors.

What I am saying is many people have a financial planner who charges them a monthly fee for managing their money. In many cases that financial planner will invest the client’s money into a series of mutual funds, which is essentially assigning the task of managing the client’s investment to someone else (the mutual fund manager).

You don’t see many high net worth individuals with a mutual fund portfolio. :slightly_smiling_face: