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Tax Preparation Business

Not only does the IRS website offer a wealth of information about doing your own taxes, IRS.gov also gives you information on how to go about doing other people's taxes for fun and profit by starting a tax preparation business.

Something to be aware of is that there is a lot of competition in the tax prep biz. Much of it comes from vendors of do-it-yourself tax preparation software and more of it comes from national and franchised tax preparation storefronts that pop up in the months before April 15th like Salvation Army bell ringers do before Christmas.

If you do go into the tax preparation business, you should also be aware that you'll be facing competition from such free services as:

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer help to low income taxpayers who qualify.

The VITA Program offers free tax assistance to low- to moderate-income folks who aren't comfortable doing their own tax forms. Volunteer preparers are trained by non-profit organizations working with the IRS to staff VITA locations in such easily accessible places as community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other public buildings. In addition to tax preparation help, most VITA locations assist with free electronic filing of tax returns.

Those over 60 can receive free tax help from The Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program. As with VITA, in trained volunteers from non-profit organizations provide the free tax counseling and basic tax return preparation at numerous locations, but in this cases the assistance is only available to senior citizens.

Members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard seeking tax guidance can avail themselves of the services offered by Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) coordinators The AFTC serves as the spearhead of the IRS' effort to simplify tax filing and refund services for military personnel and their families overseas.

By using direct deposit, most service members who file their tax returns electronically at their tax centers can receive their refunds in as little as one week, which, needless to say, is a very reassuring thing for servicemen and women stationed overseas and worrying about the financial well being of their dependents back in the U.S.

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