How to Become a Tax Preparer
Individuals usually hire tax preparers to make sure they are properly filing their tax returns. If you have the necessary training and relevant experience, you can offer your services as a tax preparer.
Find out the basics into becoming one, from registering as a preparer in your state into how to advance in this field.
Many businesses, especially small ones, are now hiring third parties to manage their tax obligations rather than employ an accountant. Outsourcing tax preparation can save businesses the expense of employee-related obligations and training. Individuals also seek tax preparers to make sure they are making accurate filing and getting the maximum deductions for their income. If you have substantial experience in tax preparation, particularly from a previous employment, you could find self-employment as a tax preparer. Here are some tips if you are planning to enter into this business.
States require tax preparers to register in their area. To be registered you must meet requirements for age, education, training, or length of experience in the field of tax preparation. This registration is subject to renewal. You would need to register not only because this is mandatory, but also because careful clients would usually look for this qualification when looking to hire a tax preparer. You might not need to register anymore if you are part of another regulated agency, like if you are a certified public accountant.
Fees and Dealing with Clients
The preparer and the client usually meet for an interview, at which time experienced preparers give a general description of how the prospective client’s return will be prepared and estimate how much his bill would likely be. The self-employed tax preparers’ fee will usually depend on the number of files prepared or the amount of time it took him to complete the return. Tax preparation fees range from a little more than $100 to about $500, depending on the complexity of the return prepared.
Often, those looking for the services of independent tax preparers are individuals rather than businesses, and so, your personal connection and that of your friends and relatives would greatly help you in looking for potential clients. Your clients could also refer you further to their friends and relatives. It is therefore important for you to maintain a solid integrity, and good reputation among clients.
Advancement and Dealing with Tax Preparation Off Season
Tax preparation is seasonal, with hiring aplenty around December and work extensive during January to April. Tax preparers usually take up other work on months when they don’t have tax preparation to do. To keep yourself busy during this off season, you could help businesses craft tax plans, respond to regulatory inquiries and deal with tax payment problems.
To advance in this field, you must continually educate yourself about the many changes that are happening to the tax laws in the country and the area you are operating in. You can also take up continuing education classes. For more information, visit The National Association of Tax Practitioners.
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