One of the basic truths about running a tax business is that you’re going to be busiest during tax season. The rest of the year, things can be slow, and if you’re planning on having a steady income you need to find other ways to bring in money. While some tax professionals can live off what they make during tax season, most of us like the comfort of a regular revenue stream.
Creating that revenue stream means adding service offerings to your tax business. Here are some ideas for value-added tax business services you can offer your clients:
Top 7 Value-Added Tax Business Services
- Accounting services. This is the most common service paired with tax services. Often, it works the other direction, however. Many accountants see their business slowly evolve into a tax business over time, rather than the other way around. That being said, many tax professionals choose to be tax professionals precisely because they wish to deal with that kind of work, and don’t want to do standard accounting. In many ways, this is a matter of personal preference. The good news is that, if you decide to add accounting to your tax business services, many of your small business clients will be more than ready to consider hiring you to work for them.
- Retirement planning. It can be difficult for your clients to navigate through the often-confusing options when it comes to retirement plans. Not only that, the types of IRAs available to your clients have a direct impact on their taxes. Adding retirement planning services – whether that’s working as an actual agent selling retirement accounts or acting as a financial advisor – can be a natural outgrowth of your tax work with individuals and businesses.
- Software training. Many tax professionals have skill sets that include a number of different software accounting packages. One of the frustrations you may face in working with clients is misuse of their accounting software, making it harder for you at tax time. By offering software training or consulting to your tax business services, you will not only help your clients’ business run more efficiently, you’ll also reduce some of your own stress at tax time.
- Estate services. This is actually fairly common in some rural areas. Because there are so many tax issues that can occur when a loved one passes away, some tax professionals add estate sale or auction services to their portfolio. This will typically take the form either of a partner business that handles the estate services, or a staff person that will handle those details.
- Property-related services. Some tax professionals branch out into real estate-related services, as well. That might include things like appraisals or it might even include actually acting as a broker. Here again, this is a good opportunity for a partnership with another business, or with an internal service provider.
- Tax education for the public. Some tax businesses offer seminars to the public on tax issues. This might be as simple as a free seminar that you offer to small business owners that covers changes to tax laws this year, or it might take the form of more formalized classes where you train accountants on some of the things they need to be doing from the tax perspective.
- Records retention. Because of the need to retain tax records for several years, many tax businesses have branched out into the area of records retention. You’re already potentially storing a client’s tax records as part of your existing tax business services, so why not store other documentation that they may need for regulatory, reporting, or compliance purposes?
As you can see, there are plenty of directions you can go when it comes to value-added services. As you go through the process of trying to determine what services to offer, however, you do need to keep a few things in mind:
- There may be state or federal laws that limit what kinds of financial services you can offer in tandem. Make sure you check into these regulations first.
- Value-added services can initially be used to simply bring in more clients, but in the long run you will want them to generate their own revenue, too.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help when implementing new services in order to insure your clients get the best possible service.
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