Doctors and grocers used to do it. Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza, became fabulously wealthy by doing it.
4 Now Lawrence Blim brings you Mobile Tax Service.
Maybe it's not as appetizing as pizza delivered to your door, but Mr. Blim, a certified public accountant, will pick up your tax documents and financial statements at your home, calculate your taxes and return the documents to you for your signature. He'll throw in tax-planning advice for free. He doesn't offer 30-minute service, but he can offer same-day service.
"It's kind of like a doctor making a house call," Mr. Blim said.
He charges $95 for preparing a Form 1040 with Schedules A and B and state returns. Other schedules and more complicated tax preparations cost more.
When he started his accounting business 15 years ago in Washington, D.C., Mr. Blim found that many of his clients preferred that he come to their homes. "It was convenient for them, and, especially in the city, it wasn't a big deal. I found I could do it without charging any more," he said.
He continued to offer at-home tax service after he and his wife moved to Baltimore six years ago. As restrictions on CPA advertising eased, he began to emphasize the mobility of his business.
Now he serves all of his clients at their homes. Most live in Baltimore, but he has some in Baltimore County.
At-home tax preparation makes the clients feel more relaxed and puts within easy reach documents they might otherwise forget to take to an accountant's office, he said.
"People are more able to think about things at home. It really saves time in the long run," he said.
Like most certified public accountants, Mr. Blim said this is his busiest time of the year, and the pace doesn't slacken until after the April 15 tax-filing deadline.
"The days get fairly long. You learn to carry a picture of the wife and kids with you," he joked.
He hasn't yet resorted to advertising his business with a printed logo on the side of his car or a lighted sign on its roof. He makes his deliveries in a plain gray car.
2& "We like to be discreet," he said.