'Tis the Tax Forms Selling Season
Act now to profit from the product that nobody wants, but everybody needs.
Death and taxes. Until now, you may have thought that these were the only real certainties in life. Now you can add one more—high profits from the sale of tax forms.
"Tax forms are one of the most, if not the most, profitable items sold by a business forms distributor," said Jim Foster, national accounts manager for TFP Data Systems, Oxnard, Calif.
He went on to explain that many of a distributor's tax form orders can be small, and, "A company that makes a once-a-year, $120 purchase of tax forms and envelopes isn't going to shop around for bids. Assuming the forms arrive on time and work properly, that company will continue to purchase year after year from the same distributor, making it excellent repeat business."
Distributors interested in capitalizing on this market, however, should start soon.
"The biggest mistake distributors make is waiting too long to get started," said Foster, noting that distributors should start selling tax forms around Labor Day. "If they wait until November and December, they will have missed window of opportunity."
A good game plan is to start letting customers know they carry tax forms by mid to late July.
The bulk of the tax forms that distributors sell are W-2s and the family of 1099 forms. And while high-volume users—accountants, tax consultants and payroll services—are obvious targets for tax form sales, Foster also advised seeking out sources that may not be so obvious, such as churches and schools. "People are often surprised by the number of tax forms used by these organizations," he noted.
Finally, given the almost instinctual fear of the IRS, perhaps the most important tip of all is that tax forms are not all that complicated to sell. Despite the fact that there are approximately 16,000 different tax forms—and every year the IRS can make changes to them—a basic working knowledge of the W2 and 1099 are the only prerequisites.