A career as a tax preparer is a great opportunity for those who enjoy working with people and are good with numbers. It is a misconception to think that tax preparation services are needed only during the busy tax season from January through April. Many individuals and companies have a need for tax preparation services throughout the year as a result of filing for filing extensions.
Listed below are some key strategies to assist you in planning to become a Professional Income Tax Preparer with Tax business support
You may enroll in one of the programs offered by a tax preparation service. To enroll you must have either a GED or high school diploma and several companies require that you have some experience either field. However, there are also firms which will train entry level candidates as long as you can demonstrate proficiency with numbers and comfortable win working with a calculator. Be very cautious as some national tax firms require students to sign a non-compete agreement. This would not be desirable if you plan to work on your own or have a home based business.
The best strategy is to call these agencies as early as September before the new tax filing season and inquire as to their admission policies. You will also want to inquire as to their hiring policies upon program completion. In effect, you want to know what the likelihood is that you will be hired as a regular employee after the rush of tax season. Many national tax firms train more students than they plan to hire, never assume that by taking the course with the tax firm you are guaranteed employment. In addition many tax firms only provide additional tax training to individuals who they have hired, leaving unhired students to have to advance their education elsewhere.
If you would rather not be bound by a traditional classroom schedule due to family or other work obligations, you can also enroll in an on-line program to obtain certification. These courses may be offered by both private education companies as well as the continuing education programs of many local colleges.
A final method of preparing for this career is to complete your own taxes, or as much as you can if your situation is rather complicated. This method is probably best used in conjunction with a formal training program so that you can get exposure to all types of situations in completing forms on behalf of individuals, families, as well as business entities.
There are currently only two states that require tax preparers to be licensed through their state education departments. These states are Oregon and California. However there is much talk of instituting federal regulations for the licensing of all those who charge a fee for the preparation of taxes. This is of special concern should you seek to operate a solo practice. In this event, check with your secretary of state for business licensing requirements. If you work for a tax preparation company, they likely already have the necessary licenses so this is not an issue of concern.