It’s no secret that filing taxes is a chore for everyone, from individuals to corporations. These are the folks that tell themselves they don’t need help with the accounting but end up having trouble with the figures and paperwork. When tax season rolls around, business owners and individuals alike seek the help of professional tax preparation services.
It takes a certain set of expertise to provide tax preparation services. Accountants and tax experts who prepare individual and/or corporate tax returns for filing with the IRS are referred to as accounting for tax prep.
However, getting started in the business of providing tax services will need some planning. Today’s dynamic business landscape requires forward-thinking solutions and quick adaptation, which means companies are looking to find the right partner that will help them achieve their desired results quickly and efficiently.
If you’re planning to open a tax prep office, there are a few critical considerations you should keep in mind.
Get the Necessary Permits
Take the exam required by the state in which you want to work as a certified public accountant (CPA) or an enrolled agent (EA). This is important to get respect and credibility as a professional. However, this exam is unnecessary if you plan on working without any credentials.
Find out what actions are needed to go on without a license by consulting your state’s licensing requirements. Depending on your professional level in tax preparation, you may need to have certain qualifications and certificates.
Secure Your PTIN and EFIN
People who do not have a CPA or EA certification need to take this extra step. You need a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to prepare federal tax returns. The IRS is a great resource for this, and they provide it free of charge.
If you expect to file more than a few tax returns online each year, you’ll need an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN). Fingerprinting is a typical requirement to secure your EFIN.
Acquire Business Insurance and Determine Your Legal Standing
Having tax preparation services insurance in place may be a lifesaver in the event of an accident or illness, regardless of where you operate. You may modify the coverage limits and deductibles of your professional liability insurance policy to fit your organization’s changing demands. Having a strategy ready will provide you peace of mind in light of the rising number of audits and the regular updates to tax legislation.
Be aware of any changes in local or national financial regulations. If you are aware of these regulations and follow them, you will reduce the likelihood of getting into legal difficulty.
Develop a Plan of Action
In other words, who exactly are you hoping to help with their tax returns? Determine who you want to sell to by doing a market study. Consistent employment may be found with small enterprises, and an accountant’s skills are also in demand from private clients.
Discover the monetary necessities of your business’s target market, be it business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C). Working with small enterprises requires expertise in tax and payroll administration, employment legislation, and more.
Provide a detailed description of the services you intend to provide. When the inventory is complete, it’s time to set prices. The price of service may change based on the nature of the customer and the amount of time required to complete the task at hand. If you are having trouble deciding on a pricing point for your products or services, doing some market research on your rivals might be beneficial.
Constructing an audience-specific marketing strategy is essential. Online marketing is only one option; marketing offline by using print materials like brochures and business cards is another possible alternative. Due to the cyclical nature of your business, prepare for a surge in demand.
Buy Necessary Equipment and Programs and Open a Commercial Checking Account
Get everything you need to launch your tax preparation business. Your tax preparation firm can’t function without stable internet, supplies, and tax preparation software. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what you may need as your business expands, but it will get you going in the right direction.
When you’ve completed the necessary paperwork and acquired your EIN, you may create a business checking account. This account will be the backbone of your new tax preparation firm.
You should also be prepared for the effort that goes into being successful in the tax preparation industry. It’s possible you may have to spend a lot of time networking and marketing yourself and your tax preparation service. You may even have to take accounting courses or learn extra software to handle taxes for a specific business type. But the potential payoff is worth the initial investment, especially if you’re looking for a supplemental income stream from your investments.
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