Before the next tax season begins, tax preparers will want to be prepared and up to date on the newest tax updates, procedures, and policies before they step back into the office. We’ve put together a list of some important things to do before the 2018 tax season, including steps to enrollment for the Annual Filing Season Program.
Tax Law Updates
Be sure to know the new changes to the tax laws including new forms, policies and rules (Affordable Care Act). The tax laws are the heart of your business, and your clients are relying on you to know everything there is to know when filing their tax return. Make sure you are completely up to date with all tax law. The Annual Filing Season Program course goes over the newest tax law updates, so be sure to enroll in this before the December 31st deadline.
Tax Course Central is an IRS approved continuing education provider which offers the latest tax law update courses. This is a great way to learn the new lax laws and gain your credentials at the same time. They offer a 3 hour Tax Law update course, as well as a 10 hour Tax Law course, which covers everything you need to know. Enrollment in the Annual Filing Season Program automatically enrolls you in the Tax Law course.
Know The Ethics
Tax Preparers should know the latest ethics and practices, as outlines by the Circular 230, which can be found here – https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/circular-230-tax-professionals
Ignorance to the law is never an excuse, so be sure to know all the latest ethics and rules of conduct. Tax Course Central also offers an IRS approved 2 Hour Ethics course, for exempt and non exempt tax preparers. Make sure to check with your state to know when you are required to take the ethics course and how many hours you are required to take.
Take advantage of the power of Google
A great way for your tax business to be found is through google. In todays world, a large number of people are using the google search engine to help them find what it is they are looking for. If someone searches for a tax preparer in your city, you want to be sure to show up at the top of that list. You can do this yourself with a little research and practice, or you can hire an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist, to assist you in ranking in google. SEO can be expensive, and you want to make sure you ask the right questions before hiring anyone to do this for you. But in the end, this is one of the best marketing strategies for your tax business.
Create A Facebook page
Another way to be found today is through Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads are cheap, easy to setup, and great at targeting specific niches. These are the same ads you see when reading your friends Facebook post, in the middle of the screen. They are great for advertising and will bring even more customers to your business. Like SEO, there are also professionals that specialist and creating/running Facebook Ads, so be sure to check them out if interested.
Enroll in the Annual Filing Season Program
Last but not least, every tax preparer should enroll in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program. This is almost a must in today’s industry, as it comes with huge benefits for the tax preparer and their clients.
After successful completion of the Annual Filing Season Program, the IRS will place your business name and contact information in a public directory that shows all the tax preparers who have completed this course. This is essentially free advertising!
You’ll also receive a certificate of completion when finishing the course, which is a great way to show your credentials and stand out from other tax preparers. Your clients will also feel more comfortable when they know you’ve gone through the latest IRS approved continuing education courses.
In order to enroll in the Annual Filing Season Program, you must apply for a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number). You will need this number before you can enroll and receive credit for completing the AFSP course. You can apply for your PTIN number here – https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/ptin-requirements-for-tax-return-preparers
Make sure to complete all of this before December 31st, 2017, as this is the final deadline for completing the Annual Filing Season Program.
Tax Course Central offers both the 18 hour and 15 hour IRS approved Annual Filing Season Program courses. The courses are self study, text based format, which means you can take them at your own pace, at your own time. Go to www.TaxCourseCentral.com for more information.