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How to Start Your Own Tax Preparation Home Business 
 
by Robbi Erickson September 27, 2005

Tax preparers can earn thousands of dollars a month at home during tax season. But, they must know how to do the job, set themselves up in business, advertise, professionally present themselves, and establish their fee schedule.

Introduction

After the holiday season, many businesses slow down. As a result, many workers have their hours reduced just as holiday bills come due. If you have found yourself in that position more than once, then you know that seasonal work patterns  impact your ability to pay your bills and provide  for your family. One solution is to start a home business that will supplement your income during these off-seasons. A great seasonal home business that requires minimal investment is a tax preparation business. To start you need basic training, a computer, access to the Internet, and tax preparation software.  Here's how.

Learn Your Trade - Minimum Training

If you have worked as a CPA or as an accountant in the past then you probably already have the skills needed to prepare tax returns for a fee. However, if you have not had previous tax or accounting training then you will want to get some training. There are several avenues that you can take to learn how to prepare a tax return for a client. The first step is to enroll in a basic tax return course. These courses cover the basics of form 1040, the schedules and forms associated with an individual tax return, and the basics of credits and deductions.

Several companies offer these types of course like H and R Block, Jackson Hewitt, and even the IRS offers tax preparation courses. The course provided by the private organizations are often less than $100, and in some cases your only cost is your training materials. The IRS offers these types of course free of charge in exchange for a few hours of volunteer time on their tax help line. To get more information on tax preparation course you can contact your local H and R Block or Jackson Hewitt office, or you can visit their websites. The IRS also provides information on their tax preparation courses and training programs on their website.

Another option to get tax preparation training is to download free tax information from the IRS website. You can study this information to learn how to handle deductions, credits, and calculate taxes, as well as learn about new tax credits and requirements. Keeping a printout of these training and reference materials will provide you with quick reference guides when you are preparing tax returns.

A professional training certificate can be an asset to your business when you are trying to recruit customers so you may want to weigh the benefits of such training against their costs. In the long run it may make you more money to have taken an IRS or H and R Block Tax Preparation Course then to have just read through the material on the IRS website.

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