Have you considered preparing taxes for your Schedule C self-employed clients, but were told it is too scary? Are you interested in increasing your profitability by extending your service offerings to Simple Schedule C tax preparation?
If you answered yes to either question, then you are in the right place! I want to provide insight on how an accounting/bookkeeping professional can position herself to integrate Schedule C tax preparation services to current self-employed bookkeeping clients. We will cover the three important factors to start preparing your firm:
- Identify WHERE the BIG opportunities are to start offering tax services.
- HOW to get your tax preparation learning-groove on.
- Familiarize yourself with WHO the Simple Schedule C taxpayers are who need you
Let’s start by getting your blood flowing. WHERE are the BIG opportunities for new tax prep engagements? You do not have to look further than your own client list and close community to search out new opportunities. The reason is that there are life events that happen around us every day that trigger a need for a tax preparer, such as a change in marital status, starting a family, buying a new home, changing jobs, receiving a big bonus, preparing for kids’ college, planning for retirement and even entering the “gig” economy.
These are all very exciting life events, but the most significant one that provides the largest tax preparation opportunity is the last one on the list, the gig economy. According to a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the percentage of self-employed workers will rise to 50 percent of the labor force by 2020. That’s means 60+ million people will be self-employed, so why is that such a BIG opportunity? Based on TurboTax fiscal year 2015 data and a tax year tracking study, more than 75 percent of self-employed individuals prefer a Do-It-For-Me tax prep solution. That means taxpayers will be looking for qualified tax preparers to assist with their Schedule C tax return needs.
Now that you are convinced the BIG opportunities are there, it’s time to discuss HOW to begin offering this service. The first step is to get excited about gaining and extending your tax knowledge and expertise, so plan on tackling this learning in digestible pieces. Create a reasonable plan to gain your tax knowledge through a few separate learning resources and strategies such as:
- Learn how to read a tax return line by line.
- Follow and learn from your accounting colleagues who are teaching through partners such as Intuit® ProConnect™.
- Attend tax conferences and online tax courses before next tax season begins.
- Focus on common tax deductions for your target markets and current clients.
Last, but most definitely not least, you need to identify Simple Schedule C taxpayers who need your services right now. This is the best news of all: there are millions of them!
Still with me? I have even better news: Accounting and tax accountants will be teaching a session on this very subject in the 2017-18 ProConnect webinar series. If you want to learn more on this topic, register for the session called “Changing Your Practice with Tax.” Check out other sessions as well. You may just hear a familiar voice (yes, it’s me) on the other line when you attend.
Now, let’s go get those Schedule C clients together!