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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Selling a Service > Tax Preparing Service

Start a Tax Preparation Service from Home  

What you will be doing.  As soon as the W-2 forms are mailed out in January, people begin to look for someone to prepare their tax forms and calculate their return.  Tax preparation is a business that will always be needed as long as we have an IRS.  But, tax forms and laws change frequently which can be frustrating to the average individual or the small business. 

How to start.  If you are interested in the world of income taxes, take a tax class.  Several tax companies offer tax preparation courses for the individual that wants a better understanding of the system.  These classes teach you how to prepare tax forms and how to interpret tax laws. 

A tax preparer needs to have a business name.  Registering your name with the local business bureau makes you official.  You can create business cards, letterhead, and other business tools for the business.  Consider creating a website to go along with your other advertising. 

Starting costs.  This is a business where resources are important.  Tax manuals and booklets help you to give each client the maximum amount of deductions they are entitled to.  If you expand your business to include other states, you will need to acquire a copy of their state tax laws for the state forms. 

A computer with high speed Internet access, a printer, fax machine, and a telephone are a complement to your home office.  The starting costs could run around $2,000 to $3,000 including advertising and materials for mailing multiple paper copies of completed forms to clients.  Each person should have a tax booklet that they receive, but you will need to have additional forms on hand in case they are missing any. 

Skills needed.  Attention to detail and good math skills are a plus.  Mistakes on tax forms can cost your clients money and you, your good reputation.  Communication skills are important for letting clients know what you need from them and the schedule of fees to be charged. 

Marketing.  Word of mouth advertising through friends and family members can drum up business in your community, church, and around the workplace.  Taking out ads in the Yellow Pages and the local papers let businesses know that you are available. 

You can specialize in business taxes, individual tax returns or take all comers.  Mail out flyers across your city or town, post them in supermarkets, post offices, and other public places.   

Tax preparation services are growing.  Since everyone needs taxes prepared, there is enough business to go around.  Find something that makes your business unique and sell that point to increase your client base.

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