How to Become a Professional Tax Preparer [Step-By-Step Guide]

How to Become a Professional Tax Preparer [Step-By-Step Guide]Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Originally Posted On: https://floridaindependent.com/how-to-become-a-professional-tax-preparer/

 

Last year, people in the United States took a survey. Nearly 30% of respondents reported that they didn’t understand the basic ins and outs of taxes.

With this many people being confused and busy with work around filing season, it is no wonder that people get help. They hire certified professional tax preparers.

If you are looking to change careers, you should consider becoming a tax preparer. The job outlook is growing and it is a great way to make money!

Continue reading to discover how you can become a professional tax preparer so that you can help others!

1. Satisfy Basic Requirements

If you are considering a professional tax preparer career, you will first need to meet their minimum requirements.

You must have a high-school diploma, or equivalent, to get a job as a tax preparer. By going to a Universal Accounting School you can further your education and prepare yourself. Having a bachelor’s or associate’s degree can also give you a head start.

Other requirements that you will need are math skills, computer skills, and strong customer service.

2. Get Your PTIN

After you have gained the knowledge of what it takes to become a tax preparer and met the qualifications, you can get your PTIN.

A PTIN is a preparer tax identification number. To get this number you must submit personal information and the previous years’ tax return to the IRS. This number is needed for your career because it registers you as a preparer.

Be sure to answer the questions on your PTIN form accurately and fully.

3. Apply for an Identification Number

Many people assume that the PTIN and identification number are the same, but you will also need to get an EFIN

An EFIN is your electronic filing identification number. The application for this number can also be found on the IRS website and is quick to complete. It takes around 45 days to get your EFIN.

During the waiting period, you should also submit your fingerprints, as they are required to obtain a license.

4. Register and Obtain License

The next step is to register with your state and get a license.

Depending on which state you are working in, you may have different requirements to become registered. Take the time to look up tax preparer registration details in your state. You may discover that registration is waived in certain places too!

At this point, your state should have several documents from you to review. They will also administer an exam to ensure that you are ready for your tax preparation license. You must pass this exam to legally work.

5. Find Work

Many people in this role recommend working at an established tax preparation service first.

Working at a larger business during tax season can allow you the chance you ask questions to experienced professionals. Do this until you learn the ins and outs. Working at a tax company can also expose you to new opportunities and networking that will further your career.

Become a Professional Tax Preparer

There are many reasons to become a tax preparer, and becoming one isn’t all that difficult!

If you have recently graduated and are wanting to begin an accounting career, this is the ideal first step. After you get your license you can work at a tax preparation company to further your knowledge.

Depending on your preferences, you can continue at a larger business, or work independently.

Be sure to check out our blog for more articles about professional tax preparer jobs and how they can benefit you!

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