Become a Certified Tax Preparer

How to Become a Certified Tax Preparer

Every year, tax preparer helps thousands of people prepare and file their taxes. They use their experience and expertise to ensure that customers pay the right amount to the government. Becoming a preparer can provide rewarding and well-paying work. People have to file taxes every year regardless of the state of the economy. So you can enjoy job security also. 

While it may require a lot of education and training to prepare the tax, almost anyone can qualify in several months. 

How to become a preparer of  tax

Preparing tax returns is a diverse career. If you want to prepare taxes, here is the path for you:

1. Minimum Educational Requirements

How to become a preparer of  taxTo prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses, you need some strong math skills. The minimum education requirements for this line of work are high school degree or GED. Improve your math and computer skills. Learn about how taxes work and what goes into preparing the returns. 

Your more knowledge will help you with your job opportunities and certifications. If you want to become a CPA, EA or tax attorney, you will need a bachelor’s degree.

2. Take Tax Preparation Courses

High school and college education are enough to learn about math and taxes. But, tax return preparation requires important tax preparation courses.

These courses break down many of the specifics that come with preparing tax returns. Familiarize with not only major forms like 1040 but also various tax credits like earned income tax credit and child tax credit. If you are able to get a job quickly after your education, many of them offer job training too.

3. Get a Preparer Tax Identification Number

Get a Preparer Tax Identification Number
Filling income tax form with pen and calculator

The preparer can’t do the job without the PTIN through the IRS. To fill out your PTIN application you will need the following:

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • Date of Birth
  • Phone Number
  • Social Security Number
  • Explanation of felony convictions, if applicable
  • Explanation of any discrepancies in your taxes, if applicable. 

The last two may stall the process of getting your PTIN. If you receive the PTIN, you will become an ‘unenrolled preparer’ of the IRS. With this, individuals that allows them to file federal taxes.

The next step is to obtain an electronic filing ID number from the IRS if you are planning to start your own tax preparation firm. This gives you the ability to e-file tax returns. It usually helps to file more than 11 income tax returns.

This requires an IRS eServices account. In addition to that, to become an authorized e-file provider, you need to send an application, a ‘sustainability check, which includes a credit check and a criminal check.

4. Become Licensed in your State

If you are a non-credentialed tax preparer, you may need to be licensed or registered to practice tax preparation, depending on where you live. The amount of training provided to preparers of tax may vary by state.

5. Get Tax Preparation Experience

Even if you have everything you need, now is the right time to use it. The tax preparation firms that provide training and education can be a great place to start your career as a preparer of tax. Depending on your job title or office, you can become a specialized preparer of tax.