- Our Guide to Successfully Becoming a Tax Preparer
Our Guide to Successfully Becoming a Tax Preparer
Everyone has an event they look forward to the most every year. Many families set up Christmas decorations as soon as November comes around, some like to count the weeks before their birthdays, and others can’t wait to play tricks and pranks on the first day of April. There is much to celebrate in these twelve months; a year won’t even seem enough! Just like any holiday, the tax season is also an important time that happens every year without fail, except no one looks forward to it—except for tax preparers, perhaps.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
For people who find tax codes interesting and have an aptitude for numbers, the tax season is just as exciting—and possibly more important than—Christmas or New Year. To tax preparers, this is the most significant and wonderful time of their year, when many people turn to the experts to file their taxes for them. Tax preparers usually prepare, file, or assist with general tax forms, but they can also represent a taxpayer during IRS examinations. Certified tax preparers depend on their knowledge and computational abilities to perform their job well, but many also use professional tax preparation software to help them with their tasks.
Becoming a Tax Preparer
So, you want to become a tax preparer. Understandably, you’d like to work in the industry, as there are many advantages
to entering this career field, and it’s even expected to grow by 2.9% through 2026
. Before people can come to you to help them file their tax returns, you first have to map out your career plan. Just read through the steps below to have a clear direction on your path to becoming a tax preparer.
1. Earn Your Degree
This is the first and one of the most crucial steps towards becoming a tax preparer. Like many careers, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree if you want to work in your desired career. Earning a degree may not guarantee you a job, but it will make you a more desirable candidate. Make sure to select a finance-related field, such as accounting or statistics, as this is what most employers will require and prefer. A bachelor’s program usually takes four years to complete, but some schools offer accelerated programs.
2. Intern at a Firm
Finding a suitable internship at a great accounting firm is crucial, as this will be your first work-related experience. You won’t be stuck in a classroom after graduation, after all—you need to see and experience for yourself how things go so that you can learn more about your future career. Internships usually only last for one semester, so you have to make the most of the little time you have. Earning school credit is the last of your priorities—ensure to gain significant on-the-job experience, get used to using professional tax preparation software, and build relationships with future references.
3. Get Your Credentials in Order
No tax preparer will be permitted to work with just a degree and internship experience; you also need specific credentials to be able to practice or work independently. To earn credentials, you have to:
- Complete training courses;
- Register with the IRS;
- Pass the tax preparer exam; and
- Complete state licensing requirements.
Getting your credentials may seem confusing and overwhelming, but your college professors should guide you through the required exams. We recommend earning your license within two months of graduating so that you can obtain a job as soon as possible.
4. Secure a Job
Once all of your credentials are in order, you can now start applying for tax preparation jobs. Applying four months before the tax season starts is the best time to look for job openings, as you will have time to earn a job and receive training on filing taxes and using professional tax preparation software before the busy months.
Working as a tax preparer is rewarding—besides helping people with their tax concerns, you will also enjoy many benefits such as job security, flexibility, and lifelong learning. However, being a tax preparer will take more than just being good with numbers. Make sure to follow our guide below so that you can successfully achieve your career goals. Do you want to further grow your tax business or perform your responsibilities faster and better? Why not invest in the best professional tax software
? Our software at Keystone Tax Solutions offers product innovation, flexibility, and the ability to earn incremental revenue. Get your free demo now!