woman using calculator and taking notes.

No matter what’s happening in the world, one thing is certain: people need to file taxes on a quarterly or yearly basis. That’s why learning how to prepare taxes can offer the opportunity for a rewarding, full-time career, or even a lucrative side hustle. In order to become a tax preparer, you often need training, an understanding of how the tax system works, and a preparer tax identification number.

What does a tax preparer do?

Tax preparers work with clients and small businesses to prepare and file tax returns, process tax paperwork, and ensure they — and their clients — comply with tax codes and laws. Depending on experience and certification, tax preparers can also help taxpayers defend claims with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Other typical tasks you can be expected to do include

  • Reviewing financial records.
  • Explaining federal and state tax laws to clients.
  • Checking forms for inaccuracies and correcting them as needed.

Most people in this role work in an office setting, and many work seasonally when the majority of Americans are getting ready to file their tax return. During tax season, preparers often find themselves working longer days in order to receive and process the necessary paperwork for clients.

Why become a tax preparer

If you’re detail-oriented, organized, and analytical, becoming a tax preparer could be the perfect fit for you! Tax preparers provide an essential service to people and businesses who need help filing their taxes and can be kept busy from January to April each year. With an average salary of $49,550 in 2019, there’s no better time than now to get ready for a role in the upcoming tax season. And, in a world where social distancing is becoming the norm, a job like tax preparation can often easily be done remotely, ensuring the safety of you and your clients!

How to become a tax preparer

Becoming a tax preparer involves training, earning credentials, and registration with the IRS. Through Penn Foster’s online tax preparation course, you’ll build the foundational knowledge that can help you confidently step into the role of a tax preparer. In this self-paced program, you’ll learn about tax basics such as

  • Filing status and income basics
  • Property income and deductions
  • Small business clients and returns filing

You’ll also prepare to validate your knowledge and skill through industry certification! After completing your courses, you can sit for the National Bookkeepers Association (NBA) Tax Certification Exam. The cost of your exam, as well as a practice test to help you prepare, is included in your tuition.

Take the next step toward a flexible career

Whether you’re looking to begin a completely new career or are hoping to add a side hustle to grow your income, becoming a tax preparer can allow you to work in an essential role. To find out more information about taking the next steps, reach out to an expert Admissions Specialist today at 1-888-427-6500!