Tax time

Tax time creates a flurry of activities for many tax preparers and accountants. Some tax firms look to hire additional help during these busy periods. If you are interested in becoming a self-employed tax preparer, working for an established tax firm provides an excellent opportunity to gain experience before going it alone. Even with solid experience, you still need a business action plan before setting up shop. This includes handling Internal Revenue Service requirements, setting up your business, getting your office in order and marketing. As a self-employed tax preparer, you must apply for a preparer tax identification number through the IRS. This number identifies you as a paid tax preparer and is used in conjunction with your signature on your clients’ tax returns. You must renew this application every year. Apply and renew online. As a tax preparer, you must have sufficient knowledge of the tax laws relevant to your customer needs. Your clients may be head of household, self-employed, have dependent children or take care of elderly parents. You must know which tax laws apply to client situations for maximum, legal deductions. The quality of service you offer depends on your knowledge and understanding of tax codes. Set up a business structure that meets your needs as a self-employed professional. Decide whether you will operate your tax business as a sole proprietor, partnership or corporation. Each structure has pros and cons. For many self-employed business owners, it is easier to start out as a sole proprietor. You will also need tools such as a business bank account and a method to keep up with federal, state and local taxes your business may owe. Regardless of the business you’re in, you must market and advertise to get customers. Print up business cards or flyers and hand them out to everyone you know. Consider volunteering your tax services to get your name out there. Marketing your business is essential, so set aside time every day to advertise and promote your business regularly.