How To Become a Tax Preparer

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More

Tax Preparers

Tax Preparers prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses.

Salary
$52710
Becoming One
Medium
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match



What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

High School Diploma

We did a survey to ask other Tax Preparers what degree they had when they became a Tax Preparer. Here are the results.
High School Diploma
30%


Associate’s Degree
25%


Bachelor’s Degree
20%


One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Tax Preparers or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Tax Preparers what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Accounting Technology 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.



Featured Schools

How hard is it

Difficulty
Not Too Hard

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Tax Preparer. For example, an electrician must complete 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.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.


Related work experience required
None

None
31.58%


6 months to 1 year
26.32%


1 to 2 years
15.79%


Job training
1 to 3 months

1 to 3 months
26.32%


3 to 6 months
26.32%


Up to 1 month
21.05%



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


Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Tax Preparers are generally very knowledgeable 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


Learn more about Tax Preparers

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Salary
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Quiz

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