The first thing you will need is a solid foundation of tax knowledge. The Income Tax School offers tax courses online, 24/7 with instructor support. So you can get started right away!
After just one 60-hour Comprehensive Tax Course, you will be able to prepare tax returns for most individual U.S. taxpayers.
This tax course can be completed in just weeks! If you want to be able to prepare tax returns for small businesses, then you will also want to take the 30-hour Small Business I Tax Course.
Next, you’ll want to learn the nuts and bolts about starting and running a tax business. Instead of reinventing the wheel, consider purchasing The Income Tax School’s Strategic Planning Retreat Webinars. These webinars will teach you many of the tax industry best practices., and are based on live Strategic Planning Retreats held in Richmond, VA. Many tax business owners attended these retreats – some just starting out, while others have been in the tax business for years.
- Tax Business Marketing Manual
- Tax Office Operations Manual
- Tax Business Personnel Manual
- Tax Business Expansion Manual
- Order them as a set and save!
Tax business start-up checklist
Here’s a small checklist to help you start your home-based tax business…
Enroll in tax course (beginner and/or advanced tax courses)
Read about and consider completing new IRS Voluntary Annual Filing Season Program
Purchase and read The Income Tax School’s Tax Practice Management Manuals
Consider purchasing The Income Tax School’s Strategic Planning Retreat Webinars for Tax Business Owners
Consider joining the Linkedin group: Tax Business Owners of America (TBOA)
Consider joining the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP)
Register with IRS as a Tax Preparer – Get Your Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
Apply for IRS Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) so you can e-file tax returns. Before you can electronically file tax returns, you must apply to become an Authorized e-file provider with the IRS. This process is facilitated by the IRS in three phases:
- Phase 1: Create an IRS e-services Account – Before you can begin the application process, you must apply and be approved for an e-services account with the IRS. The IRS may take several days to verify and approve your information, so it is important to plan accordingly.
- Phase 2: Submit Your Application – After you are approved for e-services, you will be able to log into your account to fill out the online application to become an IRS e-file provider. Plan accordingly as it may take up to 45 days for the IRS to approve an Authorized e-file Provider application.
- Phase 3: Pass a Suitability Check – After you submit your application and any related documents, the IRS will conduct a suitability check on the firm and each person listed on your application as either a principal or responsible official. This may include: a credit check; a tax compliance check; a criminal background check; and a check for prior non-compliance with IRS e-file requirements. Once approved, you will get an acceptance letter from the IRS with your Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).
Order tax preparer software (see below for some low cost options)
Tax software options
Choosing professional tax preparation software will depend on what type of tax returns you will be preparing and what you can afford. You can choose anything from a simple pay-per-return package, to a basic tax software package that will enable you to prepare simple returns, to a very advanced tax program that will allow you to prepare all types of tax returns with many bells and whistles. Here are 2 low cost options for professional tax preparation software from Intuit:
ProSeries® Tax Software – for Desktop Users
Deliver more for your clients in less time with the leading provider of professional tax software. Only ProSeries is faster and easier to use, so you can spend time on what’s important — your clients.Intuit has made it even easier for you to save time and money. Skip the hassle of renewing your software every season and take full advantage of Intuit’s newest, most flexible renewal options. Simply reserve your renewal discount now and pay later.
SPECIAL 20% Discount on ProSeries Basic and Pay-per-return products, as well as a custom discount on Intuit’s Unlimited solutions. To learn more or to order, please call (888) 378-5884 and speak with one of Intuit’s tax specialists today!
Intuit Tax Online Software – for Online Users
Intuit Tax Online works harder to make your workdays shorter. Work more efficiently, and get back to living more fully with #1 cloud-based accounting software. Everything you need to find your productivity sweet spot. Bank level encryption, robust content, mobile apps and no contracts — what’s not to love!
- Feature Rich — Robust time savings features to speed you through returns
- Complete Calculations — make sure work is done right the first time with our advanced calculations and diagnostics
- Fabulous Forms Set — over 5,600 forms mean you’re always able to complete the job and meet tight deadlines (1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S & 990 modules supported)
- Flexible & Affordable – Buy only what you need when you need it, one return at a time or buy bundles and save more. Completely free to try.
SPECIAL 20% Discount on Intuit Tax Online product.To learn more or to order, please visit http://accountants.intuit.com/tax/online/ to sign up for a free trial. Enter code 1102141 in the ITO product purchase experience to redeem the offer.
How to get your first clients
You might be wondering how you will get your first clients. Most people start off by offering their services to friends, family members, and neighbors. This is a great place to start because these people already know you and trust that you will do a good job. From there, you can ask for referrals. Offering an incentive and/or discount to clients who give referrals is a great way to increase your business. Having a special offer for new clients also helps.
Another great way to increase business is to start networking. Get out and about and become known as the “tax expert”. You can join a group like Business Network International (BNI). It will be important for you to continue your tax education so that you stay on top of the tax law changes and can also handle more complicated tax returns/issues.
Offering to write a tax column and answer tax questions are additional ways to get your name out there. You can learn more about how to start and grow your tax business with Tax Practice Management Manuals available through The Income Tax School.
Launch your own tax business in weeks – No franchise fees or royalties
It’s easy to go into business for yourself.
- Step 1: Register for the Comprehensive Tax Course
- Learn to prepare tax returns & research tax issues for most Form 1040 individual, non-business taxpayers and small business taxpayers (self-employed/Schedule C).
- CTEC and OBTP Approved. Includes Certificate of Completion and FREE AFTR Course.
- Step 2: Add the Business Start Up Guides to help launch your tax business quickly
- Guide 1: Starting a Tax Business and Getting Clients
- Getting Started
- Taking the Courses
- Starting Your Own Business
- Specifics for a Tax Business
- How Do You Get Clients? (Includes sample marketing pieces)
- Bootstrap Marketing Materials You’ll Need
- Meeting With Your Client
- How to Price Your Services
- Continuing Education
- Client Retention
- Becoming a Bricks and Mortar Business
- Guide 2: Policies and Procedures for a Tax Business
- Company Philosophy
- Personnel Policies
- Tax Office Policies and Procedures
- Tax Preparation Procedures
- Processing Tax Returns
- Client Folder Setup
- Guide 1: Starting a Tax Business and Getting Clients
- Step 3: Follow the Tax Business Start-Up Checklist
Get Started Now!