Wharton MBA Student Starts Tax Company (Andre Ellis, Spring 2009)
Wharton MBA student Andre Ellis Jr. has created an on-demand startup company called Taxes Served that is looking to transform the tax preparation industry by offering a digital platform that connects users with experienced tax professionals. The goal for Ellis was to create something that would help improve the financial situation for low-income communities. Prior to Wharton, Ellis worked on Wall St. developing software products for financial institutions. Ellis attended business school so that he could be exposed to different industries that seemed attractive for technology disruption.
While at Wharton, Ellis had the opportunity to take an entrepreneurship course called Venture Implementation taught by Professor Patrick Fitzgerald that allowed him to work on his business idea in class.
“My initial idea was to create a platform that connected blue collar workers who provided a service with those who are in need of that service such as mechanics, lawn care professionals etc.,” Ellis said. “However, in class, with the help of my professor and peers, I was encouraged to think more niche. So, I focused solely on the tax preparation market not only because it was the number one profession in the U.S. for blue collar workers, but also because of the market’s growth potential and the opportunity to innovate seemed viable.”
Taxes Served can be thought of as the Uber for the tax industry. It digitally connects consumers with professionals for an in-demand service.
Taxes Served will allow individuals and small businesses to upload pictures of their tax information from the web or a mobile device and transfer it to a tax professional.
For MBA students, Taxes Served has professionals that specialize in the MBA Tuition deduction which is a complex process of enabling students to write off their college tuition. MBA students can expect to receive an additional tax savings of $10,000-$15,000 over the course of 2 years.
Taxes Served will be among the first companies to create an ecosystem of tax professionals who are digitally connected to their customers through our platform. Taxes Served is targeting millennials including MBA students. It’s an option for people who prefer using digital tools, but also want an experienced tax professional to prepare their income taxes.