Become A Tax Preparer and Earn Money From Home

Become A Tax Preparer and  Earn Money From Home

How Freelancers Can Start a Tax Preparation Side Hustle & Become a Tax Preparer

You’re a freelancer looking to boost your income, and tax season is the perfect time to launch a lucrative side hustle. As a freelancer, you already have the skills and flexibility to become a tax preparer and start your own tax preparation business. Why not put your expertise to use and get paid for it?

Setting up shop is easy. You already have a computer and accounting software, so you just need some tax prep software like TurboTax and you’re ready to go. Promote your services on neighborhood Facebook groups, your website, and freelancing platforms. Offer competitive rates and the convenience of phone or video calls. Before you know it, you’ll have a steady stream of clients and a bustling seasonal business.

Come tax time, you can make a decent income preparing returns for your fellow freelancers and small business owners. When the season wraps up, enjoy your extra earnings and the satisfaction of building your own successful side hustle. This tax season, turn your freelance skills into a lucrative new income stream. A whole new world of entrepreneurial opportunity awaits!

Build Your Tax Preparation Knowledge and Skills

To start a tax preparation side hustle, you’ll need to build up your knowledge and skills. The good news is, you likely already have a solid foundation as a freelancer!

  • Brush up on the latest tax codes and forms. The tax code is constantly changing, so review the current rules around deductions, credits, and income reporting. Study the most common forms like the 1040, Schedule C, and 1099.
  • Learn tax prep software. Programs like TurboTax and H&R Block make preparing returns efficient. Many offer free courses to become certified in using their tools. This valuable skill will make you a tax prep pro in no time!
  • Consider tax prep certifications. While not always required, certifications establish your credibility. Check out the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program or become an Enrolled Agent. Private certifications like the Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) are also available.
  • Build your client base. Let current and former clients know about your new service, and offer an introductory discount. Tap into your network and online freelancing platforms to find new customers. Offer a free initial consultation to show them how you can get them the best refund.
  • Stay up-to-date with resources. Follow top tax and accounting blogs and podcasts. Join online communities to connect with fellow tax pros. Check the IRS website regularly for the latest news and tools. Continuously improving your knowledge will make you a trusted tax expert.

With hard work and persistence, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful tax preparation side hustle. Keep at it – tax season will be here before you know it!

Obtain the Necessary Certifications and Licenses

Become a tax preparerTo get this exciting side hustle up and running, you’ll need to check off a few boxes. First, obtain the necessary certifications and licenses.

  • Become an IRS Enrolled Agent. This requires passing an exam and background check. As an EA, you can represent taxpayers before the IRS. It shows your expertise and will give clients confidence in you!
  • Consider becoming a CPA. If you want to prepare more complex returns, becoming a Certified Public Accountant is the gold standard. You’ll need a certain number of college credits and to pass the CPA exam.
  • Check with your state for any licensing requirements. Some states require tax preparers to register, pay a fee, and possibly post a bond. Make sure you understand the rules in your state.
  • Stay up-to-date with tax law changes. Take continuing education courses to keep your certifications current and ensure you provide the best service to clients. Tax laws are constantly evolving, so ongoing learning is a must.

With the proper credentials and knowledge in place, starting a tax preparation business won’t take long and you’ll be on your way building your exciting new side hustle. Get out there and spread the word about your new tax prep service. Offer free initial consultations and competitive rates. Provide great service and those five-star reviews will start rolling in. Before you know it, you’ll have a thriving seasonal business helping people check off their least favorite chore in the most cheerful and energetic way possible!

Determine Your Target Clients and Services

Choose Your Niche

As a freelance tax preparer, you have the freedom to focus on the clients and services that interest you most! Do you want to specialize in personal taxes for individuals and families or business taxes for small companies? Both areas offer opportunities, so think about what you enjoy and the skills you want to build.

Set Your Rates

Once you determine your niche, establish competitive yet profitable rates. For personal taxes, you might charge $150 to $350 per return. Business returns typically start around $500. Offer package deals for returning clients or those with more complex returns. Don’t sell yourself short—with the proper certifications and experience, you can make $50,000 to $100,000 per year preparing taxes part-time!

Build Your Tax Preparation Business

Promote your new tax prep venture to attract clients. Start by creating a professional website to establish your online presence. Offer a free initial consultation. Provide resources like tax tips or a newsletter to demonstrate your expertise. Partner with local businesses, like mortgage brokers or financial advisors, to cross-promote services.

Continuously Improve Your Skills

Tax laws change each year, so take courses to strengthen your knowledge. Become an Enrolled Agent (EA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to open more opportunities. Join the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) to connect with others in your field.

Launching a tax preparation side hustle lets you turn your experience into a rewarding seasonal business. Choose a target market, set competitive rates, build your brand, and keep improving your skills. Before you know it, you’ll have a steady stream of clients and a profitable gig that fits perfectly with your freelance lifestyle! The possibilities for your business are endless if you start planning now. Why wait? This could be your best tax season yet!

Set Your Rates and Fee Structure

Set Your Rates

As an enthusiastic freelance tax preparer, one of the most exciting parts of starting your side hustle is determining how much to charge clients! You get to be your own boss and set rates that make the work worthwhile for you. Some things to consider:

  • Your level of experience and credentials. If you have a tax or accounting degree and several years of experience, you can charge on the higher end of the range. Newbies should start lower until you build up your expertise.
  • Rates in your local market. Do some research on what other tax preparers in your area are charging. You want to be competitive, so aim for the average to slightly above average. Don’t undercut the competition too much.
  • Types of returns. More complicated returns like those with investments, businesses, or rental properties warrant higher fees. Simple W-2 only returns can be on the lower end of your range.
  • Additional services. If you offer year-round tax planning, bookkeeping, or consulting services, you can charge a premium. Bundle packages to provide extra value to your clients.
  • Your overhead costs. Make sure your rates adequately cover things like tax software, office supplies, and the value of your time. You want to turn a decent profit!

A good rule of thumb is to start around $150 to $300 for a basic return, $300 to $500 for a moderately complex return, and $500 or more for a highly complex business or investment return. You can offer package deals and discounts for returning clients to keep them coming back year after year.

Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth—you’ll be providing an invaluable service to your clients and community. Keep an enthusiastic and positive mindset, build your expertise, and the clients and profits will follow! With some hustle and determination, your tax preparation side gig can turn into a very fruitful endeavor.

Market Your New Freelance Tax Preparation Business

Get the Word Out

You’ve got your business set up—now it’s time to spread the news! Start by building a website to establish your online presence. Include details about your services, experience, and credentials. Optimizing for search engines by using related keywords will help people find you.

Tap Into Your Network

Don’t be shy—tell family, friends, and former colleagues about your new tax preparation venture. They’ll be happy to spread the word and may even become clients themselves. Offer a friends and family discount to show your appreciation for their support.

Volunteer Your Services

Volunteering your time at a local charity or community center is a great way to gain experience, build your resume, and get exposure. As an added bonus, the people you help may recommend your services to others or use you again in the future.

Advertise Strategically When Starting a Tax Preparation Business

Set aside a monthly budget for online ads, social media campaigns, and traditional marketing like flyers or print ads. Facebook ads and Google Ads are affordable ways to reach potential clients. Don’t forget about your neighborhood Facebook groups and Nextdoor—offer a special promotion or discount for locals.

Host an Open House

Once you’ve gained some experience and reviews, consider hosting an open house. Advertise the details on all your platforms and in the local media. Provide refreshments and the opportunity for attendees to schedule an initial consultation. An open house is a chance for people to meet you in person and learn more about what you do.

With a little hustle and persistence, you’ll gain new clients through referrals and your marketing efforts. Keep providing great service and the word will continue to spread about your freelance tax preparation business! Stay enthusiastic—your hard work will pay off.


You now have the knowledge and skills to launch your own tax preparation side hustle. The tax code may seem complicated, but with some studying and practice, you’ll be guiding clients through it in no time. Think of the impact you can have by helping freelancers and small business owners better understand their taxes and maximize their deductions.

Not only will you gain valuable experience, but you’ll also earn extra income during tax season. What are you waiting for? Get your business set up, spread the word about your new tax prep service, and start booking clients. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful side hustle that taps into your talents and passion for helping others. The possibilities are endless if you take that first step. What do you have to lose? Get out there and make it happen!

Gust Lenglet
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