Establishing a tax preparation business from home is the perfect opportunity for someone who wants to transition into a home-based career or for an individual that wants to veer away from the asphalt jungle. If you’re great at numbers, organized and dedicated to your work then a home-based tax preparation business may be the right career path for you and your family.
Starting this type of company requires little to no financing (so no poor credit loans, business loans, lines of credit or maxing out your credit card) and, most important of all, you are your own boss. You may fear that working from home may prompt you to slack off, but if you’re already a professional then it’s highly unlikely you’ll be waking up at noon or wearing your pajamas until dinner time.
Although it is easy and affordable launching a tax preparation business, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. You are required to have certification, education and training in this field. You can’t wake up one day deciding that you want to prepare taxes for a living.
Unsure where to start? Here are seven ways to start a tax preparation business from home:
Get Top-Notch Training ASAP
Once you have decided to enter this field of work, you should look for the best and most up-to-date tax preparation education and training around in your city. You can check for courses at community colleges, tax preparation schools, online universities and other training facilities. Always try to find material that includes the latest updates to the United States tax code.
Register With the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Upon completing your training, head over to the IRS and register as a tax preparer. This is done by completing a Preparer Tax Identification Number either online or at your local IRS office. The IRS will have documents that have all of the crucial information and latest updates. Remember, enter your number at the bottom of every tax return you complete.
Look for the Best Tax Preparation Software
Although it isn’t a necessary requirement to have tax preparation software, you should have one for professional reasons. One of the benefits of having such software is to show either your prospective clients or regular clients crisp, clean and printed copies as opposed to hand-written documents with various errors that are covered in white out.
So when you are in the market for tax prep software look out for features and to have forms that match your state.
Sign up for E-Filing
When doing our taxes nowadays, we want to do it electronically. The IRS does welcome this and can even provide benefits, like a faster return. This means you should sign up for E-Filing and ensure your clients understand this in advance. This could be a prerequisite for the customer.
Build Your Home Office, Workstation
Now that the red tape and bureaucracy have come to an end, you should start constructing your home office and/or workstation. The office/workstation should be located in an area close to the entrance door and one that is not cluttered. Always ensure there is an extra seat for the client and that you are facing them (you shouldn’t be sitting side by side). Essentially, your home office should look like the office you at the company you used to be employed by.
Open a Website and Get Business Cards
A website allows customers to find you, read about your credentials and experiences and what your prices are. A web portal has to be professional looking without bells and whistles. You can either hire somebody or build it yourself using WordPress or Blogger. Next, you should acquire business cards that have your name, address and contact information.
Begin Your Marketing Campaign
Again, you can either hire somebody to do this or you can learn to do it yourself. This marketing plan should include social media, target audience (will you be targeting families, small businesses, non-profits?), search engine optimization and ad buys through Google Adsense or affiliate marketing.
Starting a tax preparation business from home will be one of the biggest decisions of your lifetime. Your everyday life will change: you can work whenever you want, you don’t have to travel two hours each day and you can save money by eating at home. As long as you maintain a professional conduct and work hard each day, you’ll be very happy.