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Tax & AccountingJuly 12, 2023

7 steps to succeeding as a professional tax preparer

By: Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting

What you need to know—and do—to grow your tax preparation business

If you see tax preparation work in your future or only have a few tax seasons under your belt, there are steps you must take to ensure you meet the success you aim for. And while many of these steps may seem self evident, making a misstep on just one can cost you time and money. In this article readers will learn seven key steps to help ensure success as a new tax preparer. Let's get started!

1. Obtain proper education and training

A great place to start is by mastering Individual 1040 tax returns because most people in the United States are required to file one each year. However, you should consider pursuing training on tax compliance for sole proprietors, estates and trusts, and small businesses,  through webinars, in-person, online courses, or even audiobooks.

2. Create a business plan

A tax prep business is just that: a business. You’re investing time and money to set it up, so you want to go into it with a plan in place. Sit down and write out your short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals regarding your business objectives, the type of services you want to offer, how much you’ll charge for them, and when you might want to hire staff. 

3. Secure proper licensing

Tax preparation businesses need to comply with state and federal licensing requirements, which, of course, vary by state and change regularly. In addition, to avoid suspension and fines, you’ll want to make sure you have registered for a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) and EFIN (Electronic Filing Identification Number) and that you’re up to date with required continuing education credits.

4. Find the right tax preparation software

Your tax prep solution is one of your biggest investments. Make preparing accurate tax returns manageable by choosing a comprehensive tax preparation software solution that helps you easily import client data, auto-populate and link tax forms, and catch any errors before you e-file and share the tax return with the client.

5. Implement efficiency tools

Once you have your technology basics down, you can add tools to boost your efficiency, your bottom line, and your clients’ satisfaction. TaxWise® offers paperless document storage, secure client portals, e-Sign tools for remote tax return signings, and more.

6. Exceed your clients’ expectations

It’s probably true that most people don’t look forward to preparing their taxes, even if you provide great service. But they do look to you to help them answer questions, save them money, and plan for the future.

Make it easy and enjoyable to do business with you by setting up a self-serve document portal, using a mobile app for e-signing, and staying in contact with clients—even outside of tax season.

7. Set your practice apart

Refund transfers give clients a simple way to pay their tax prep fees from their refund, not out of pocket. Choosing a refund transfer when e-filing a tax return can help speed up the tax refund disbursement process when compared to a traditional tax refund check mailed by the IRS.

Ready to take the next step? Download the ebook “7 Steps to Succeeding as a Professional Tax Preparer” for more in-depth guidance and information on getting started. 

Learn how Taxwise® Online can grow your business. 


Greater accuracy, improved workflow capabilities, coupled with anytime, anywhere access to client returns and documents make TaxWise Online the premier tax preparation solution for your staff and customers.
Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and expertise that helps tax, accounting and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed and accuracy.

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