Tax preparers are well-trained professionals who help businesses and individuals prepare tax returns. They must have a thorough understanding of the laws and regulations involved in tax preparation. Some typical duties of tax preparers include:
Communicating with clients in order to understand their needs and help them address their tax-related concerns
Keeping up to date on federal, state, and county tax laws
Consulting with coworkers and supervisors when an unusual situation arises, which may include contacting the IRS when a particularly troublesome question crops up
Asking clients the right questions to make sure that they file all the proper forms with accurate and thorough information
Double checking forms to make sure that all the numbers are accurate and in the correct location
Tax accountants and tax resolution specialists, both of which are jobs closely related to tax preparation, have more in-depth duties. Individuals who are thinking about pursuing one of these careers may start out as a tax preparer in order to get a feel for the world of taxation prior to advancing.
Tax Preparer Job Education Requirements
A background in accounting or another financial field is helpful for tax preparers, but it is not usually necessary to obtain an entry-level position. Job candidates take a class hosted by a tax preparation agency. If they perform well in the class and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the material, they may begin work as a tax preparer. Some tax preparers, especially the ones who deal with complicated tax situations, need more extensive education. They may have a college degree, but their education must continue year after year to keep up with the latest tax legislation.
Tax Preparer Job Market
The primary demand for tax preparers happens at the beginning of every calendar year, from January to mid-April. This is when most people file their federal income tax return. Some individuals, those who receive an extension from the authorities, may file after the infamous April 15 deadline. That being said, there is also a need for tax preparers throughout the year. Businesses and many self-employed people must file taxes on a quarterly basis.
Tax Preparer Job Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for tax preparers is roughly $17. About 10 percent of tax preparers earn $38 or more an hour. Entry-level tax preparers can expect to make well below the median wage.