We talked to the founder of Otis Tax, Ozzy Drakes, about creating a platform for easy tax returns in the United Kingdom. As a qualified tax accountant with extensive finance experience, Drakes found a lack of resources for individuals who need to file taxes by themselves in the UK. With Bubble, Drake built his app with more creative controls and without any prior coding experience.
Tell us about your app and what it does.
In the UK, about 11 million people file tax returns each year, some use accountants, and some do it themselves.
The motivation for creating Otis is to give these individuals a platform that helps them sort out their tax affairs without the need to see an accountant or tax adviser. Granted, there will be cases where if your affairs are complicated, it will make sense to see a qualified tax advisor. However, we aren’t targeting those individuals we are targeting people whose affairs aren’t complicated. But they will need to file a return because they either work for themselves, are employed but have sold a few shares / receive some investment income or own a few properties on the side. As demand grows, we can definitely cater to different circumstances, but that’s our starting base.
Otis Tax works by collecting user information on their income details during the tax year, analyzing those figures, and telling the user how much they would likely owe to tax deadline time.
The next stage of the platform is working with our national tax office’s API to file tax returns through the website.
How does your app work?
When the users begin their journey on the website, they will start by selecting the types of income that they have had during the year, in this case, a selection of employment income, investment income, rental income, and self-employment, or even a selection of four. Based on their selection, it would determine the journey that the user takes. As they go through each relevant page inputting their income and expenses, they will be guided on what details are needed, and if they are ever stuck, there will be info prompts and aids at different stages. They can choose to leave the platform and return if the information is not all at hand and finish when they are ready.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
I have a background in finance, being a qualified tax consultant. I discovered Bubble based on the recommendation from a friend in the tech industry as I was looking to build a non-related platform with a few friends, and we had no idea how to code or how to begin creating a website. Bubble opened our eyes to the no-coding platforms out there as we believed that you had to have a tech background to validate an idea, which, as Bubble proves that just isn’t the case.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
Once you get the hang of navigating the Bubble platform, you can easily realize your product and bring your ideas to life. It also provides much more creative control than other websites where you usually build using a template. As Otis Tax required something more sophisticated than a simple website with a slight bit of code to run the tax calculations in the background, Bubble again seemed like a fit.
What have been your milestones or successes so far?
We are just at the beginning of our journey, as we are using the Bubble platform to build a prototype and see if there is traction. But it was quite nice to be featured in our first fintech article.
What are your future plans for your app?
The first stage of this app is to get people using it. In the background, we will be building the backend, which will allow users to submit and amend their yearly tax returns.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 400,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.