FAQS #1 – How Do I Become a Tax Preparer?

Pronto Tax School Team Members Karen and Imelda answer some frequently asked questions posed to Pronto Tax School. You can watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

Here is the transcript of Pronto Tax School’s Frequently Asked Questions #1, How Do I Become A Tax Preparer? Karen and Imelda answer this question and several others related to becoming a tax professional today in California.

“Hey everyone, I’m Imelda here and I’m Karen and we’re just going to discuss a little bit of the questions that we get from our potential students when they want to take a course with us.

Karen: So one of the questions that we often get through our support system is, ‘How do I become a tax preparer?’ So, Imelda, could you enlighten us with that information?

Imelda: Yeah, it’s fairly simple. It just depends on what state you live in. California is one of our main ones that we cover, and for California, you have to register with CTEC. So you have to take 60 hours, and there’s a whole process. They do fingerprinting, background check, and if you visit ctec.org, they’ll tell you the process of what you need to do. For other states, there are requirements for a couple of states; most states don’t require any education, but we do recommend it. We have the 45-hour course for that. Oregon is actually one of the states that requires more education, I think it’s 180. They’re one of the stricter ones. Yes, so that would be a basic process. It’s really quick, but if you do have any questions, depending on the state that you live in, you can always email us at support@prontotaxschool.com.

Karen: Now another question that we often get is, ‘When is the best time to start my tax education?’

Imelda: So just, I tell people that it really depends on themselves because there are people that can take the course in December and then they finish it by January and they can start off doing taxes immediately. So it depends on yourself, like how do you feel? If you feel comfortable, are you a fast learner? And a lot of this stuff, though, you learn on the job. So it’s not like you’re going to learn everything in the course. You learn the fundamentals, but when you actually get to do a tax return, because you actually see the W2 forms and you know the numbers that are in there, you start to learn how to read the form. So if you know that you’re a slow learner like me, you can start in May. But if you feel that you’re one of those people that can easily get through a course, December sounds good too. We have had people finish in January too.

Karen: So now many of them want to start their tax business on their own. What advice would you give them?

Imelda: I personally would say to start working for someone so you can get your hands in there and you can start getting experience with the software because at least you’ll have an idea and then you kind of know what you like and what you don’t like. If you’re going to go straight and not work for anybody and get your EIN and get your PTIN and do it all yourself, you come across a thing that you’re going to wonder, ‘What software do I buy?’ And if you buy software, then you’re just committed to that. I mean, even though you do get to do the demo, a lot of times the demo doesn’t go into depth, depending if you get complicated returns. For basic returns, yeah, go for it, do the demo. It shows you the basic stuff, but with anything else in that, it becomes a little bit more… I don’t know if that makes sense. Does that make sense?

Karen: Yes, it does. And then another thing that they ask is, ‘Do you have courses to help people start their tax business?’

Imelda: Yes, we have a course. It’s ‘Start and Grow Your Tax Business,’ and this year we’re going to have three sessions. It’s our first year that we’re having three sessions. In the prior years, we’ve had only one session, but we have gotten requests to do three sessions. So it’s a six-week course. And that course is led by Glenn, and Glenn has, I think, 30 plus years of experience in the tax business as a tax office, starting a business as a tax office. I think those were all the questions that, yeah, for someone that was new. And I guess like if you’re interested in the ‘Start and Grow Your Tax Business,’ you can email us at support@prontotaxschool.com so we can send you information. Alright, sounds good.”

If you are interested in the Start and Grow Your Tax Business 6 week online course, our next session will begin September 3, 2024. There will also be a webinar prior to the course in August that will give you all the details on the course and what to expect. This webinar is free to take to see if you would like the 6 week course before you take it. If you are a Dream Team member already, this course is included in your membership. If you are not a Pronto Tax School member yet, you can still take this course too as it’s open to anyone. So follow us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn to keep updated on our latest online courses and webinars. Or sign up for our email list here .

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Training for Your Needs!

Please click the button below for your primary tax credential.

Not sure which credential applies to your situation?  Click here to reach our support team and we'll help you decide.