How To Become A Tax Preparer: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become a Tax Preparer
majors for Tax Preparers

Tax Preparers

Other names for this job might include Certified Income Tax Preparer (CTP), Corporate Tax Preparer, Enrolled Agent, Income Tax Advisor, Income Tax Consultant, Income Tax Expert, Income Tax Preparer, Licensed Tax Consultant, Master Tax Advisor, Tax Advisor


  • $44730
    Salary
  • 68%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

C+



Be A Tax Preparer: What You Really Need


In this requirements guide for Tax Preparers, you will find out what do you need to become a Tax Preparer and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Tax Preparer.



Degree required

Recommended degree level

High School Diploma

High School Diploma
30%

Associates degree
25%

Bachelors degree
20%

Some college courses
10%

Post-bachelor certificate
10%

Generally, employers are looking for Tax Preparers who have a High School Diploma. They also prefer someone who is good in Reading Comprehension and Active Listening.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Tax Preparer or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Tax Preparers what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping
Taxation

The majority of Tax Preparers typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma. Taking a course on Accounting, business administration or a related field is an advantage for this occupation.



Schools

schools for Tax Preparers

Interested in becoming A Tax Preparer? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Tax Preparer




How long does it take

Difficulty
Medium

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be A Tax Preparer.

For example: An electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

To become A Tax Preparer, you will usually need 1 to 2 years of training which includes both on-the-job experience and training with experienced workers.


How long does it take
7 to 15 months


Work experience
6 months to 1 year

No experience
31.58%

6 months to 1 year
26.32%

1 to 2 years
15.79%

3 to 6 months
10.53%

2 to 4 years
10.53%

Job training
1 to 3 months

1 to 3 months
26.32%

3 to 6 months
26.32%

0 to 1 month
21.05%

1 to 2 years
15.79%

No training
5.26%

Most Tax Preparers have 6 months to 1 year work experience and 1 to 3 months job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.



License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Requirements varies by job tasks


Enrolled agents — Must pass a suitability check, take an extensive test covering individual and business taxes as well as representation issues, and undergo 72 hours of additional education every three years.
Certified Public Accountants — CPAs are licensed by states or U.S. territories, and must pass the Uniform CPA Examination. Each state or territory establishes additional tax preparation requirements like education and review of certification requirements as well. Many CPAs will specialize in tax planning or preparation of returns.
Tax attorneys — Attorneys must be licensed by a state court or state bar after having earned a law degree and passed the bar exam. Not only are attorneys a registered tax return preparer, they also can prepare a legal defense for a client involved in a tax-related court case, even for taxes they did not prepare.
Unenrolled preparers — Tax return preparers with PTINs, but no additional certifications, have limited representation rights. They can legally prepare an individual or business tax return, and represent those clients, but only at the initial audit. Any additional representation needed will have to come from a more certified tax preparer.
Registered Tax Return Preparers — The IRS had a program providing Registered Tax Return Preparer certification to certain preparers. However, this program is no longer enforced due to a February 2014 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court finding that the IRS has “insufficient statutory support for the IRS’ regulation of federal tax return preparers.”



Skills required

We asked other Tax Preparers if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Reading Comprehension what does this mean
2.Active Listening what does this mean
3.Critical Thinking what does this mean
4.Speaking what does this mean
5.Writing what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Tax Preparers have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Attention to Detail and Integrity.

1.Attention to Detail
2.Integrity
3.Dependability
4.Achievement/Effort
5.Stress Tolerance




Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Tax Preparers you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
2.Mathematics what does this mean
3.Economics and Accounting what does this mean
4.English Language what does this mean
5.Computers and Electronics what does this mean

As A Tax Preparer, you may also be required to know how to use certain Project management software, Accounting software and Tax preparation software tools.

ACI TaskTracker (Project management software)
ATX Total Accounting Office (Accounting software)
ATX Total Tax Office (Tax preparation software)
CCH ProSystem fx TAX (Tax preparation software)
Creative Solutions CPA Depreciation (Tax preparation software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for




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Career type

Business and Finance
Business Financial Management and Accounting
Financial and Investment Planning
Revenue and Taxation

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Related to Tax Preparers Requirements

Tax Preparers requirements, how to become Tax Preparers, degree required to be a Tax Preparer, Tax Preparers license and certifications, majors to be a Tax Preparer, is it hard to become a Tax Preparer and how long does it take

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132082.htm
http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/concentration-of-tax-preparers-and-accountants-and-auditors-in-2015.htm

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Tax Preparers
Written by: Stanley Tan
Tax Preparers prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses.
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