I am attempting to start an online income tax preparation business. Is it possible for a client to submit his or her tax forms to me via the Internet so I can process the return, or am I dreaming too big or too fast?
—G. E. Williams, Alpharetta, GA
Online tax preparation services are growing by leaps and bounds as millions of taxpayers use the Internet each year to file taxes and save time and money. However, starting your own Web-based tax preparation business in such a fiercely competitive market may not be a good idea.
It will be difficult for your business to stack up against popular market leaders such as CompleteTax, H&R Block, and TurboTax. Potential customers will be reluctant to share personal income tax information with a small, Web-based service that they hardly know.
You should consider owning a franchise as a viable option for your tax preparation business. The tax preparation industry is recession-proof and is growing every year. Look into Colbert/Ball Tax Service (www.colbert
balltax.com) in Houston. It’s one of the few black-owned tax service franchisors in the nation.
Before starting your tax preparation e-business, see how well you stack up against the competition. If you want to proceed, consider offering your services on a more local scale. With so many tax preparation choices, your dream of entering a national market may indeed be too big and too fast.