Millennials have unique wants when it comes to their career compared to previous generations. According to recent research, this generation wants to find meaning in their work and values flexibility and opportunities for growth more than previous generations.
For these reasons and more, tax preparation is an ideal career choice for most millennials in particular. If you’re craving meaningful, challenging work, it could just be the job (or side-gig) you’re looking for. Here’s why:
Work remotely & set your schedule
According to the Deloitte 2019 Global Millennial Survey, 56% of millennials said they would leave a job within two years if it didn’t prioritize flexible working practices. Tax preparation offers flexible work hours and location, making it an ideal career path for most millennials.
Almost all solo-practice tax preparers have the freedom to create their schedule. Plus, with the emergence of cloud-based tax prep software and tax software apps, tax preparation is more flexible than ever. You can work from any place with internet access without compromising the safety of your clients’ data.
No matter what your other goals are, a career in tax preparation enables you to pursue the schedule and lifestyle you want.
Own a meaningful business
Starting a tax preparation practice gives you the freedom of being your own boss and the pride of building your own business. In addition to satisfying your entrepreneurial spirit, owning a tax prep business allows you to work closely with people and help them in a tangible way. From finding extra refund money to assisting clients when navigating difficult situations with the IRS, tax preparation lets you offer real help and value to the world.
Get started and become profitable quickly
With low startup costs and minimal barriers to entry, tax preparation can become profitable much faster than other industries. All you need to get started as a tax preparer is an EFIN, a PTIN, and a basic understanding of tax forms.
Obtaining an EFIN (electronic filing identification number) is usually a straightforward process, though you should expect it to take around 45 days. The PTIN (preparer tax identification number) application, on the other hand, can be completed in as little as fifteen minutes.
Pursue other passions
Running a business can be an all-consuming pursuit. The seasonality of tax preparation, however, lets you grow a business and still have time for other interests. While some tax preparers choose to remain busy year-round by working with business clients or offering complementary services like bookkeeping, payroll processing or notary public assistance, others do most of their work during tax season.
In the offseason, you can focus on growing your business, working on other projects, or pursuing passions like travel.
Supplement your income
Even if you’re not ready to leave your full-time job, tax preparation offers a lucrative way to make extra money. With over 61% of millennials saying they would consider joining the “gig economy” to supplement their income, tax preparation makes an ideal side hustle for ambitious millennials.
No matter what kind of work you do, the flexibility of tax preparation makes it a viable second job for even the most unpredictable schedules.
Learn & grow
Once you’ve started your career as a tax preparer, you have a myriad of options to expand both your skills and your business. You can grow your expertise by becoming an Annual Filing Season Program participant, or an IRS enrolled agent. Both designations give you more credibility as a tax preparer and allow you to offer more services to your clients. The continuing education requirements for each certification mean that you’ll always be learning and bettering yourself as a tax professional.
Whenever you’re hungry for a new challenge, tax preparation offers opportunities to find new interests and set new goals for your business. You can add entirely new components to your business by becoming a tax service bureau. With countless ways to challenge yourself and grow your income, you’ll never feel “stuck” as a tax preparer.
A career in tax preparation offers the freedom, challenge, and meaning that many millennials want in a life path. If you’re considering becoming a tax preparer, our resources for starting a tax preparation business and opening a tax office are great places to start.
The information in this article is up to date for tax year 2020 (taxes filed in 2021).