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Is Becoming a Tax Preparer Worth It?

Looking for a new career that won’t require years of schooling only to leave you with low earnings? If so, becoming a tax preparer could be a good option. 

With average salaries over $52,000 a year and accessible online training, you could make that career change you’ve been thinking about. Let’s determine if becoming a tax preparer is worth it.

What Does a Tax Preparer Do?

A tax preparer helps people complete and file their annual tax returns. They may use tax preparation software in the process. However, many individuals’ tax returns are relatively straightforward.

There are different types of tax preparers. Some are licensed, while others may be certified public accountants. Others do not have licenses or certifications but can still prepare taxes.

Advantages of Becoming a Tax Preparer

You don’t need to be an accountant to become a tax preparer. You also don’t need to have a four-year degree or any previous experience. This means the barrier to entry is very low for this profession.

Unless you are doing tax accounting for businesses or nonprofits, you are not required to have a license in many states. You should, however, check for the licensing requirements for your individual state.

There is also good job security as a tax preparer. Many people need assistance filing their taxes every year. Experts expect the field to grow rapidly in the coming years. 

Plus, you have high earning potential. As you gain new clients and a stronger reputation, you can grow your earnings. You could start your own business, even if you are uncredentialed, further growing your earnings.

In future years, you could continue your education by gaining credentials or becoming a CPA. Becoming an enrolled agent with the IRS could also be helpful in getting better jobs.

Many tax preparer courses are available remotely, making it easier to become a tax preparer online. This could make changing careers easier depending on your life situation. Because courses may be as little as 8-10 weeks long, you could start your new career relatively quickly.

Disadvantages of Becoming a Tax Preparer

If you are starting out without credentials, you won’t earn as much as a Certified Public Accountant who does taxes. They require more training and licensing. However, with additional training, you could get to those earning levels.

A lot of a tax preparer’s work happens between January and April. That means your paychecks may be bigger during this time, and smaller during other times of the year. You should be sure to budget your paycheck to account for these differences.

While there are a few disadvantages to becoming a tax preparer, they are relatively small and outweighed by the numerous benefits.

How to Become a Tax Preparer

The steps to become a tax preparer are relatively straightforward. In some states, you may need to have either a high school diploma or GED. Then you need to learn the skills you will use in your new job.

On-the-job training may be offered by your future employer. However, a training program could give you an advantage, especially if it can give you certifications. You can enroll in the program and become a certified tax preparer, jumpstarting your employment options.

Start Your Career as a Tax Preparer

Becoming a tax preparer can open up a well-earning new career. Since an online training program makes it easy to get the training you need, it’s also a great way to shift your career path.

If you found this article helpful, check out our other career articles too.

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