John Hewitt, Jackson Hewitt Founder and Liberty Tax CEO Predicts Mom and Pops Will Close Doors

John Hewitt, the founder of Jackson Hewitt and now CEO of Liberty Tax says that the little tax preparer will be no more.

John Hewitt, in a recent article in Bloomberg and then discussed on CPA Trendlines, seems to insinuate that the new IRS PTIN rules for registering tax preparers will force out the mom and pops. He also thinks that the franchises will own 50% of the tax preparation market in 10 years.

What does not seem to make sense, is that California and Oregon already have their own versions of the IRS PTIN program, with very little effect on the mom and pops. Will registering with the IRS and adding tax continuing education requirements nationwide cause a small amount of the mom and pop tax preparers to quit? Absolutely. But to believe that the national chains will now dominate the market completely underestimates the power of the internet and local advertising. Nevertheless the skill of the independent professional.

ClientWhys helps independent firms compete with the big 3 franchises, H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax, all over the country. One, tax preparation is not a commodity. That the big three treat it that way gives the rest of the independent professionals a competitive advantage. Seasonal workers do not have the day-to-day expertise to identify all of the deductions and compliance issues facing tax preparers today. A seasoned professional, with a well-built Tax Accountant website and strategic social marketing and local positioning will allow any firm to compete with the big three mills.  

So before you put up the white flag to Hewitt's bold predications, you might want to see how independent preparers are flourishing under California's CTEC program. And just maybe, the right online marketing solution can help build long-term client relationships that will overcome these implied advantages and growth in market share. 

  • Lee Reams II

  • I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.

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