I started in the income tax industry back in 2001, when e-file was still fresh and a lot of taxpayers still filed by paper. Over the next eight years, I saw the industry progress as technology began to play a key role. As demand grew, I added a few members to my team in 2006 to ensure service was not compromised. In 2011, I successfully launched a franchising model for the business, opening various locations and expanding our freelancer income tax business.
I first started to notice a good portion of customers moving to do-it-yourself tax preparation in 2015. It made sense since the do-it-yourself option is somewhat simple to use and can be free for some users, or at least half the cost of a professional. A customer needs only to try it once to be hooked.
I am a big proponent of technology and have tried to implement it in every part of my life, both professional and personal. I knew it was only a matter of time before software changed my industry.
In 2017, while driving from Houston to Dallas, my co-founder, Kristy, and I discussed the previous tax season from my franchising business. The focus of the discussion started with the customer pains of cost and inconvenience from going to physical locations and shifted to the pains of required upgrades and overcomplicated user interfaces from current do-it-yourself options. From this discussion, we began the vision of IOOGO.
A lot of tax preparation companies make their customers believe that tax preparation is complicated and therefore should pay hundreds of dollars or upgrade to the next best package. Going back to my franchising business, we required a training program that spanned all of three weeks. This training program prepared the franchise to prepare professional taxes for basic returns (W-2s and 1099s), which is the case for most preparers. At this point, I realized that we could build a solution that included both the professional preparation tools and the simplicity of do-it-yourself software for taxpayers. The thought was that if someone could learn how to prepare income taxes professionally in three weeks, a taxpayer can prepare their tax return in a few minutes, with the right tools. I am talking about your personal information, maybe a couple of dependents, a copy and paste W-2 form, and probably a 1099-MISC form with a few self-employed expenses. Sounds relatively easy to me.
I am excited to bring a different perspective to the world of income taxes. Over the past year, Kristy and her team have developed the web and mobile application that will be ready to launch in time for the 2019 tax season kick-off. I believe in the mission that my team and I are working so hard to achieve. Not only will we simplify tax preparation, but we are doing it in a way that fully leverages technology. Since you are doing all of the work, we decided that pricing should be free for the most basic return, but still low-cost for even the most complicated return (self-employed). Our low-cost, transparent pricing will make you at least want to try our application, and at the end of the day, you will see that tax preparation is truly simple. If you are tired of being punished with upgrades when you’re doing all of the work, say goodbye to the upgrades and hello to IOOGO.