DOR Find a Tax Preparer

What Is A Tax Preparer?

Some states have licensing requirements for anyone who prepares tax returns for a fee and some for fee-based preparation of state tax returns only. Commercial tax preparation software, such as TurboTax, is widely used by individuals preparing their own tax returns. The Free File Alliance provides free tax preparation software for individuals with less than $72,000 of adjusted gross income for tax year 2020. People who make more than $72,000 can use Free File Fillable Forms, electronic versions of U.S. Tax preparers are responsible for completing and submitting tax return documents. This process requires professionals to work with a variety of tax forms unique to each client.

What is the easiest accounting job?

  1. Budget Analyst. A budget analyst, also known as a cost estimator or budget accountant, is an entry-level position in the field of private accounting or management.
  2. Public Accountant. Public accountants may work in either private practices or accounting firms.
  3. Accounting Assistant.
  4. Accounting Clerk.
  5. Bookkeeper.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Steps to becoming a Tax Preparer

Although tax preparers work mainly during tax season and the end of budget quarters, they may also review clients’ budgets and financial situations to ensure clients are prepared to file their tax returns. These professionals communicate with clients to ensure they have a clear understanding of their overall financial situation. They also complete forms and send copies of financial information to clients upon request. Tax preparers often answer complex financial questions for clients.

They help fill status options and claim dependents on behalf of individuals who might be living abroad and unable to file taxes properly. Top 5 tax preparer interview questions with detailed tips for both hiring managers and candidates.


The tax preparer category generally includes non-licensed professionals who are subject to minimal regulation, if any at all. That means that tax preparers are not required to take Continuing Education Courses , which are a requirement for all CPA professionals. Taking these courses not only provides professional expertise, but also enhances a professional’s knowledge of new laws and tax planning strategies. Additionally, a tax preparer’s lack of licensing will limit their ability in discussing your particular tax situation upon a notice or examination by the Internal Revenue Service or state tax authorities.

What Is A Tax Preparer?

For some preparers, staying 1040 focused is a career choice, doing a little bit of business work as it arises from current clients. What Is A Tax Preparer? For most new tax preparers, learning the ins and outs of the business means acquiring an entirely new professional language.


The Court did indicate its decision did not affect the PTIN requirement. There will always be knowledge gaps and questions from clients that you didn’t anticipate.

  • Consumers have the right to ask for an estimate before having their taxes prepared.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Tax preparation requires a significant amount of day-to-day organization.
  • Tax Preparer A tax preparer license enables a person to lawfully prepare personal income tax returns in the State of Oregon.
  • As is the case with most professions, having access to the right technology will help you work efficiently and contributes to the general success of your new business.
  • Understand the fees and interest rates tax preparers may charge on Refund Anticipation Loans .

One hour of such experience will be accepted for each five hours actually worked, up to a maximum of 212 hours. Hours must be verified by the volunteer’s supervisor via a volunteer verification form and/or a letter verifying the number of hours volunteered. State of Georgia government websites and email systems use “” or “” at the end of the address. Before sharing sensitive or personal information, make sure you’re on an official state website. If you earned $72,000 or less in 2021, use NYC Free Tax Prep to file for free and keep your whole refund. Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions.

Tax preparation in the United States

Many online tax preparers now offer live assistance, so if you do have a question while you’re filing, you can get help in real time. Form 1040in 2020 was $220, according to the National Society of Accountants. Often, tax preparers either charge a minimum fee, plus cost based on the complexity of your return, or they charge a set fee for each form and schedule needed in your return. If you come across a tax preparer whose fee is based on the size of your refund or who says they can get you a bigger refund than the next person, that’s a red flag. Remember that anyone can become a tax preparer, but not everyone can be a CPA, and not every CPA can give you the right professional guidance. Review your tax situation and see whether you only need a tax preparer to input your information to tax software; or if that is not enough, then you need a CPA or CPA firm.

But finding a platform that can boost know-how and assist you with knowledge gaps is critical to success. Tax return preparers who have PTINs but are not listed in the directory may provide quality return preparation services, but choose any return preparer wisely. In my opinion, most tax preparers are honest as well, and only a few pride themselves on obtaining large refunds in illegal ways. This example serves to caution you to review your return and not to take excessive deductions, especially with increased enforcement by the IRS and state tax authorities. Tax preparers can request a PTIN before completing any tax education, but it may take some time for the IRS to issue the number. It can take several weeks to complete a tax preparation course and additional time beyond that to pass any examinations required for state registration or licensure. Refuses to sign your tax return or complete the required tax preparer information.

The information contained in this web site is not a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Service or a qualified tax professional. If you are in F or J immigration status, ask if the preparer is familiar with the special rules that apply to F and J visa holders, and ask how many returns s/he does for F and J visa holders each year. Overall they rank in the 9th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

What Is A Tax Preparer?

From document management solutions to e-filing assistance, tax software should make your operational duties easier, more productive, to do your job with confidence every time. So, while many first-year tax preparers may claim a starting salary around the $50,000, year one staff might be somewhere between $30,000-$40,000 at a different firm.

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