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How to become a certified tax preparer

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How to become a certified tax preparer

Filing taxes can be a daunting task for some people especially if they own multiple businesses or had a major life change in the previous years such as getting married, having babies or retiring from work. 

Luckily, tax students like you have the chance to help them by being eligible to become certified tax preparers. You don’t need a certification to do this in certain states but having one can give you more benefits such as higher salary and job security.

Check out more reasons why you should consider becoming a certified tax preparer and what are the things you need to qualify for one below:

Why you should become a certified tax preparer

Job security

Americans file tax returns every year and many of them turn to tax preparers for guidance. Being a certified tax preparer can be a huge edge since the number of your clients will determine how long you can last as one.

Flexibility

Since the IRS requires Americans to pay federal income taxes by mid-April, Americans only need tax preparation services during spring months. Due to this, certified tax preparers can pursue other professional services while waiting for the spring season to come.

Required credentials for tax preparers

Preparer Tax Identification Number

All tax preparers, whether certified or not, need to have their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to let the IRS know that they are professional, thus preventing fraud. You can get your PTIN through the IRS website which can take less than 15 minutes.

Electronic Filing Identification Number

Aside from your PTIN, you will also need to have an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) which you can get by applying on the IRS website. The EFIN will authorize you to submit information and process tax returns electronically.

Tax training courses

Attending tax training courses can help you stay updated on the latest changes in tax laws. This will also help you get eligible for promotion, raise or other benefits in your position. Also, since most tax preparers need to maintain their licenses and certifications, attending training courses can help them add professional development hours.

State license

Tax preparers in 20 states must follow specific regulations to meet the requirements set by the IRS and this includes earning a state-issued license or registration to practice.

Learn more about tax at Tax Students

Learn all about the ins and outs of tax by joining the Tax Students community! We will help you be informed about the tax law here in South Africa. Think of this site as your school so feel free to use the resources here and let us have ideas on how we could be more useful! Register now to access all the features of our site like our notes section, Q & A section and Taxchat.

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