Author Topic: Tax Preparation Side Hustle?  (Read 2741 times)

BlueLesPaul

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Tax Preparation Side Hustle?
« on: March 08, 2016, 03:34:07 PM »
I have volunteered at VITA for the last few years and after reading 'Small Time Operator', I am thinking of starting a tax business or doing some freelance work either at the tail end of this tax season or starting with the 2016 tax season, but I am not really sure where to start. I would probably do the business out of my home, but wondering if there is a good website to try to get freelance work or a company that would be a good place to start part-time or as a contract worker.  I would  hope to focus on small business returns because (1) those would be more interesting and (2) I feel more simple returns would be better served with VITA.  Any suggestions on software would be helpful as well.

FYI, I have reach out to Fishback Tax and Tax Prep and Account Services for their suggestions.  Also, I have an inactive bar license  and I am not a CPA nor am I an EA.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 03:37:27 PM by BlueLesPaul »

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Tax Preparation Side Hustle?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 07:45:34 AM »
Just start telling anyone and everyone you know that you're doing taxes. Rich people call this "networking" :) throw an ad on Craigslist. Slap together a website (include your experience, services, and contact info) and make some simple business cards. Voila! You're legit.

This is the sort of side gig that works well if you sell yourself. I started what was essentially a landscaping company just by making a website and posting free ads on Craigslist. $3k in revenue for less than $100 in startup costs.

Ninja edit: Make sure you're doing things by the book in terms of getting the necessary credentials from the IRS.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 07:47:46 AM by GrowingTheGreen »

BlueLesPaul

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Re: Tax Preparation Side Hustle?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 08:59:56 AM »
Yes, I will definitely get a PTIN, EFIN and the necessary state licenses and permits prior to opening my door.  Any suggestions on getting a website set up?  Should I try to do it myself?  I have a very basic understanding of HTML and and CSS, but not much more than that.  Do I need to have someone else host it or would self-hosting be feasible or advisable?

As a general addition to my earlier post, I am also thinking of using Drake Zero from Drake Tax since they seem to be the most start-up friendly tax preparation software as far as pricing goes.  Any comments about it from those that have used it would be appreciated.

katsiki

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Re: Tax Preparation Side Hustle?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2016, 03:21:43 PM »
Can't help with the tax stuff but I would suggest checking Wordpress or any blogging platform for the web site.  Many companies will bundle in the hosting and make it all very simple.  There is not much you cannot do on a blog platform these days.  If you plan to start with a simple site, it should work fine for sure.  I believe Wordpress offers hosting as well.

retiringearly

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Re: Tax Preparation Side Hustle?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2016, 03:34:09 PM »
I like this idea.  Using a standard tax software package should make most simple tax returns easy to do.  Build up a clientele over the years - remember to market to clients that used your service in the past - $ off coupons for return clients, offer discounts to clients that refer you to other new clients, etc.

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Tax Preparation Side Hustle?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2016, 05:16:45 PM »
Yes, I will definitely get a PTIN, EFIN and the necessary state licenses and permits prior to opening my door.  Any suggestions on getting a website set up?  Should I try to do it myself?  I have a very basic understanding of HTML and and CSS, but not much more than that.  Do I need to have someone else host it or would self-hosting be feasible or advisable?

As a general addition to my earlier post, I am also thinking of using Drake Zero from Drake Tax since they seem to be the most start-up friendly tax preparation software as far as pricing goes.  Any comments about it from those that have used it would be appreciated.

Sent you a message re: first paragraph.

msilenus

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Re: Tax Preparation Side Hustle?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2016, 05:55:03 PM »
Dude at my work used to do this.  That guy was even shelling out for Lacerte, which makes me wonder how much Lacerte 200 costs.  That guy was hardcore about tax avoidance.  Retired last year.  I miss his posts on the company investment discussion list.  Even the libertarian rants.

Anyway: seems solid to me.  It looks ideal as a sort of semi-refirement sort of deal, as it's intrinsically seasonal but potentially high value-per hour.