Becoming a Tax Business Owner Doesn’t Take Much

Set your own schedule.

Make your own rules.

Answer only to your clients.

Who doesn’t want to be their own boss, right?

If you’re getting into, interested in, or are already working in the tax industry, you may be surprised at what little it takes to start your own business as a tax preparer. Getting started is easy so long as you have the education and courage to take that leap. In this blog post we will lay out the bare minimum necessities to become an independent tax preparer.


The first step is an education. You can start with a basic tax education and earn money preparing returns for the general public while learning to prepare more complicated returns (that will earn you more money).

Our Comprehensive Tax Course is a great place to start.

PTIN Number

PTIN stands for Preparer Tax Identification Number. This number is required by the IRS for anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation.

Check out the IRS’s PTIN Application Checklist to find out more.


Before you can electronically file tax returns, you must apply to become an Authorized e-file provider with the IRS. Once you are approved, you will be given an IRS Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) so you can e-file tax returns.

Business License

Of course, if you are going to do business, you will need a business license. These are very easy to obtain and can be done by going down to your local city or town hall.

SBA’s guides to obtaining a business license


You’ll also need a computer to run tax professional software, communicate with clients, etc.

Professional Tax Software

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.

Read our blog post on choosing suitable software.

That’s it. Those are the bare minimum essentials for starting your own business as a tax preparer! Get off the ground before tax season and let us help you grow with education and tax practice management tools. You should also check out these two great resources:

Tax Business Owners of America LinkedIn Group

National Association of Tax Preparers

More Great Reads:

Should You Work From Home?

How To Start Earning Money As A Tax Preparer

5 Easy Ways To Establish Clientele As A New Preparer