Making Ends Meet Between Tax Seasons

May 23, 2024

When considering a job as a tax preparer, you may wonder what tax professionals do when it’s not tax season. How do they keep the money rolling in?

For some, they’ve always had two jobs. Tax preparation is a side gig that gives them a hefty financial boost once a year. For others, they learn to parlay their tax prep skills into other necessary professions. Here are some ideas if you’re looking to branch out or are preparing for a full-time career:

Tax Advising

Businesses and individuals with assets to protect will pay year-round for advice on how to limit their tax liability. You can help them build strategies throughout the year rather than scrambling at the end of the year to find deductions to fit their situation. You may be able to lead them to actions and contributions that give them deductions, exemptions, and credits they might not have had if left to their own devices.

For example, if you prefer a certain clientele, like mom-and-pop restaurants, you can get familiar with every deduction and become an expert in that niche. You may help people who are investing in real estate, planning for retirement, or creating a trust. Find an area that involves one or more of your other interests, making your job even more enjoyable and rewarding.

Start with just a few advisory clients and scale up. As you get more comfortable with advanced tax strategies, you can price them separately or bundle them depending on the client’s needs. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) can help you get started.

Preparing Business Taxes

Unlike most individuals and families, businesses often pay estimated taxes every quarter, so they don’t get a large bill in April. You would help them prepare their taxes multiple times a year.


Many tax professionals are bookkeepers for the rest of the year. Many small business owners are great at creating products or offering services but not as great at managing day-to-day finances. Others just want to focus their time where their passion lies rather than keep their head in the books. Depending on your preference, you could do this freelance and have several clients or sign on with a single company for wages.

Processing Payroll

Like bookkeeping, many business owners want to avoid dealing with their own payroll with federal and state deductions, 401k’s, pensions, healthcare deductions, automatic deposits, etc. It can be a headache for someone who is less handy with numbers. Outsourcing this chore frees them up for other parts of their business.

Providing Audit Representation Services

The IRS investigates every filing that raises a red flag. If you prepared the filing, then you will be included as a matter of course. For people who filed on their own and made mistakes or filed with a shady tax prep company, the unlucky taxpayer will need help dealing with the IRS. If you’re a CPA or attorney, you can represent them without adding any other credentials. If you aren’t, then you’ll need to become an Enrolled Agent. Training is targeted rather than requiring additional college credits.


As the population and number of companies grow each year, the demand for qualified and certified tax preparers also grows. Teaching in the off-season helps you prepare another generation to meet that need. You can join a company looking for teachers or create your own courses and get the IRS’s approval.

Becoming a Tax Service Bureau

You sell products for the best professional tax preparation software companies. Tax preparers come to you for solutions as they start a new practice or update their systems, whether in the form of downloadable or cloud-based professional tax software. With your knowledge of the industry, you are in a prime position to advise these individuals according to their business needs.

Financial Planning

Individuals and families need help with both short-term and long-term financial planning. You would help them establish budgets that allow them to invest, guide those investments, help them save for retirement, protect financial assets from unnecessary tax liability, and find suitable insurance so they’re protected.

Due to the risk families take in accepting advice about their money and future financial stability, significant training is involved. However, the rewards of doing it well can be fulfilling as you see people’s situations improve over time.

Expanding Your Earnings Beyond Tax Season

Whether you decide to sell pro tax software, teach, get training to be a financial planner, or be a bookkeeper, there are rewarding ways to make money all year round. Your skills as a professional tax preparer make you adaptable and in demand. Finding the solution best suited to your personality and financial goals may take a little investigating, but the effort will be well worth it. Some avenues even strengthen your tax preparation business, giving you a base of loyal customers.

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