Whether you’re looking to work part time throughout the year or full time for a few months during the busy season, a career in tax preparation can be flexible and rewarding work.
Tax preparation is a great home-based business for many types of people. If you are someone who enjoys working with people and on computers, this could be the perfect career opportunity for you. But what are some of the benefits that people appreciate most about tax prep work?
Benefits of a tax prep career
- Earn extra income. Adding money to your monthly budget is compelling motivation – especially if you can do it without taking on a full-time commitment.
- Work remotely. The benefits of working online, whether from home or elsewhere, are much more familiar these days. You might be looking to avoid a long commute. You might want to maintain steady work but remain free to move or travel. Working from home might be better for your health. Being “location independent” is a great draw for many people.
- Make your own schedule. Part-time hours often fit better around other commitments, whether that’s parenting, caregiving, volunteering, schooling, personal projects or professional pursuits.
- Develop your expertise. Tax preparation is a dynamic and wide-ranging practice, and there’s always more to learn. Those at the beginning of their careers can gain valuable knowledge and become more skilled at interacting with clients.
- Use your experience to help others. If you’re winding down your career or already retired, part-time tax prep can be a wonderful way to stay busy while also using your expertise to serve clients and colleagues.
Training and experience for tax prep professionals
The first thing you will need is a solid foundation of tax knowledge. Surgent Income Tax School offers tax courses online, 24/7. So, you can get started right away on your next career path.
After just one Comprehensive Tax Course, you will be able to prepare tax returns for most individual U.S. taxpayers. If you want to be able to prepare tax returns for small businesses, then you also will want to take the Small Business I Tax Course.
Starting your own home-based tax preparer business is easier than you think. The most important thing you need is good solid tax knowledge, which is available online, 24/7 at Surgent Income Tax School.
READ MORE: 4 Easy Steps to Start Preparing Tax Returns
After successfully completing the Comprehensive Tax Course at Surgent Income Tax School, you will be qualified to prepare individual tax returns for almost all U.S. taxpayers. For California residents, a California Edition of the Comprehensive Tax Course is available for those needing a CTEC approved qualifying tax course.
If you’ve never done tax prep before, you can take a training course on the basics. In the U.S., you also need to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
From there you can learn as you work, either doing volunteer tax prep through nonprofit tax assistance initiatives to gain experience or earning as you go by charging clients or landing a paid position. Different states, as well as the IRS, have different regulations for paid tax preparers, so make sure you check your state’s requirements.
At some point, you might decide to earn your Enrolled Agent credential, which qualifies you for more advanced positions.
Career opportunities for tax preparers
So, you decided you want to become a tax preparer. The next thing you need to determine is whether you want to join a tax prep company or start your own business.
Benefits of joining a tax prep company
Some tax professionals who are new to the field find it easier to join an established tax prep company like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt. If you decide that you’re interested in working for a tax prep company, the next step is to apply to an organization that fits your needs and values.
If you go this route, you will need to meet certain prerequisites, but once hired you can focus on the tax work and get support from a team of other tax experts.
Benefits of starting your own business
If you have more of an entrepreneurial spirit, you could look at starting your own tax preparation business. A great way to increase business is to start networking to grow your client base. Get out and about and become known as the “tax expert” in your community. You can join a group like Business Network International (BNI). It will be important for you to continue your tax education so that you stay on top of the tax law changes and can handle more complicated tax returns and issues. Running a business comes with additional responsibilities for marketing and administration, but it also can give you more control.
Surgent Income Tax School sets you up for success
Our beginner Comprehensive Tax Course can be completed in as little as 10 weeks. The course assumes no prior tax knowledge and teaches you how to prepare tax returns and research tax issues for most Form 1040 individual, non-business taxpayers, plus the basics of Schedule C/self-employed tax returns. This training course covers a huge part of the general U.S. population and is a good foundation to begin your tax prep career.
You don’t need a college degree, and you don’t need to know high-level math or accounting, either. If you have a high school diploma, great attention to detail, basic math and computer skills, can multi-task and are a good communicator, you have what it takes to excel in this field.
Our Comprehensive Tax Course starts at just $497. How many other careers can you begin with such a low investment? You could pay tens of thousands of dollars at a university and still be without a job – let alone charting your own career path.
A recession-proof career
Many jobs in the U.S. are not coming back or won’t be at the level they were pre-pandemic for a long time. People are looking for reliable, flexible and recession-proof careers now more than ever.
Taxes aren’t going anywhere and seem to get more complicated every year. Tax preparation is useful skill and so many people don’t want anything to do with it.
Tax preparation is one of the most flexible and rewarding careers. You can work part time or full time, seasonally or year-round. You can work days, evenings or weekends. You also can have just about every holiday off, as well as your summers free. You can work for someone else or work for yourself. You can work at an office or work remotely from home. There are countless opportunities for exploring your tax prep career.
High demand for tax preparers
There is a shortage of qualified tax preparers across the country. Tax preparation firms like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt are always looking for seasonal preparers, along with larger companies like Intuit, TurboTax Live as well as other CPA and accounting firms.
Becoming a tax expert saves you money
At the very least, learning tax preparation can help you save money on your own taxes each year. Most U.S. taxpayers pay close to 30% of their paycheck on income tax! Understanding tax law can help you keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket and ensure you’re paying the least legitimate amount of tax possible.
Ready to start your tax prep career?
You can start the program anytime you like, working online at your own pace, with instructor support. You have six months to complete the course but can finish in less time if you like. Start your tax prep career today by signing up for our Comprehensive Tax Course. Enroll today!
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Author Of this post: Erik Zeberlein