See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 2 : ISSUE 4 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK. Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.
Volume 2 : Issue 4
Welcome to Common Ground News
In this Issue:
* Feature Article – Tax Preparation Industry
* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at GeoMetrx “How to Create a Territory Heirarchy from Scratch”
* Thematic Map – Tax Preparation: A Year Round Opportunity
* Trivia Challenge – Third Time is the Charm…
This and all our newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource
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Blog: Common Ground Blog
• March 2013
• February 2013
• January 2013
• December 2012
• Previous Issues
Tax Preparation Industry[facebooklike][twittertweet]
Many tax professionals can be found this week relaxing on beaches around the
globe, basking in the sunshine and the relief of making it through yet another
frenzied tax season. The vast majority of Americans rely heavily on these
professionals, especially as the annual impending approach of tax day on April
15th creates a ‘sinking’ feeling for many of us. The Titanic also sank on April
15th, 1912… coincidence??? Maybe, maybe not! The 16th amendment permanently
establishing the federal income tax was ratified the following year in 1913,
though it wouldn’t be for another 41 years, in 1954, that April 15th would
officially become tax day; it had previously been March 15th.
Thankfully, this industry of tax professionals, more than 1.2 million strong, is
there to take the helm and steer us safely through each year. Over 140 million
individual and family tax returns are filed annually. Of those, three out of
five, or 60%, pay someone else to fill out the forms, and another 29% turn to
software to help navigate the complexity of the tax code. In the last decade
alone, the U.S. tax code has more than tripled in size, comprising over 73,000
pages, and containing more than 3.8 million words. In comparison, War and Peace
consists of 1,440 pages, and just under 600,000 words. The average adult reads
300 wpm – that’s more than 210 hours of reading to get through all of the rules
This is why so many Americans turn to tax professionals. Not keeping up with the
latest tax code changes can be costly, whether as a result of not taking
advantage of all eligible tax deductions and credits, or by filing an inaccurate
return that may result in an audit by the IRS. In 2013, some of the biggest
changes included payroll tax hikes, Medicare and Social Security wage ceiling
shifts, and Affordable Care Act surcharges on unearned income, just to name a
The tax preparation industry was estimated to have generated $7.7 billion in
revenue last year. According to Franchise Help, the majority of tax
preparations are performed by individuals (37%) or small mom and pop firms
operated by less than ten employees (53%). The three largest tax preparation
* H&R Block
* Liberty Tax
* Jackson Hewitt
While Americans and politicians continue to clamor for a flat tax, or at least a
simplified tax code, industry experts don’t expect this to happen any time soon,
if ever. The reasons for this are myriad, and accordingly, the tax preparation
industry is expected to continue growing at an estimated rate of 4%, compounded
annually, through 2015, and most likely beyond.
Under our current system, there will always be a demand for competent tax
preparers, despite the fear that an increase in tax preparation software will
displace the experts. According to Franchise Help, “…the data is contrary to
this perspective. Studies confirm that no magic tax calculator has enabled
people to easily find all their deductions and hiring someone with a tax
preparer certification translates into larger tax refunds. As Americans reach
higher tax brackets they become more willing to outsource this stressful
It should be noted, however, that under new IRS rules, tax professionals are now
required to have specific credentials. For those who have been in the profession
for the past several decades, many are opting to leave the industry rather than
go through retraining and certification. This is creating an opportunity for new
and energetic entrepreneurs to enter the market.
There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs and franchisors within the tax
preparation industry. As with any business, location is important, and our
GeoMetrx web-based mapping software is loaded with rich demographic data for
retail site selection, consumer profiling and market analysis. For more
information or a demo call us at 1.888.848.4436.
Tips & Techniques –
How to Create a Territory Hierarchy from Scratch
One of the most common tasks performed utilizing our GeoMetrx application is
creating a territory heirarchy. A territory heirarchy can have multiple levels.
For example, ZIP Codes can be assigned to individual representatives, which are
part of a larger District, and several districts can comprise a Region, which
then reports to a larger Division.
This month’s Tip & Technique guide provides a step-by-step walk-through on how
to create a territory heirarchy from scratch, as well as some optional steps to
further customize your territory heirarchy(ies).
Tax Preparation: A Year-Round Opportunity[facebooklike][twittertweet]
Many tax prepareration specialists, as well as other tax professionals, offer
year-round services including tax debt settlement, tax resolutions, audit
assistance, bookkeeping, record keeping, financial advice and consultation, tax
education, payroll services and more.
Tax professionals are dedicated to the challenge of keeping up with the tax code
and informing their clients of important changes that need to be addressed
throughout the year, rather than simply focusing on January 1st through April
15th only. Tax code changes often affect the way individuals and businesses need
to operate throughout the year in order to minimize the tax liability they will
incur. And as the tax code continues to become increasingly complex, the demand
for tax preparation professionals continues to grow as well.
Whether you are interested in opening a sole proprietorship, becoming part of an
existing franchise or creating a new franchise, at GeoMetrx we have the
tools you need to assess the opportunities, locate the ideal site location, and
create, evaluate and align territories. Additionally, we have an exhaustive list
of Business Establishment datasets by NAICS code including the one depicted
below displaying the concentration of Accounting / Tax Preparation / Bookkeeping
and Payroll Services businesses. Each red dot represents 25 establishments
within that geographical region.
Click here to see a larger version of this map.
For more information on how to obtain access to GeoMetrx datasets, contact
us today at 1.888.848.4436.
April 2013 – Trivia Challenge
It took three tries to get the Federal Income Tax to stick, eventually becoming
the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1913.
Prior to that:
1) In what year was the first income tax imposed and how many years was it in
place before being repealed?
2) In what year was the income tax revived for a second time before being ruled
unconstitutional the following year?