Is It Difficult to Become a Tax Preparer?

Is It Difficult to Become a Tax Preparer?

By Tim Frye

The task of becoming a tax preparer can be relatively easy compared to the rocky road of some similar ventures, such as becoming a real estate agent or an insurance agent.  Tax preparation can be a quirky profession, meaning it is essentially not a year round profession but a more seasonal one.  Let’s take a look at the requirements to become a tax preparer, and discuss a few intricacies of the tax business.



60 Hour Tax Course

To become a tax preparer you must take 60 hours of tax related education, with 45 hours of that being federal taxation based, and the remaining 15 hours of education dedicated to the subject of California taxation.  These courses must be registered under the CTEC guidelines, and can be taken by the student in an on line or in person fashion.  The material can definitely be laborious, but if you are dedicated, the course can be finished on line in a short time, many students attain completion as early as two weeks after beginning.  The courses are generally open book, and this test is not like the real estate exam.  The tests can essentially be taken over and over until the passing grade of 70% has been achieved.  So if you are looking to become a tax preparer go to and hit buy now to get started in a profession that is growing by the minute.

Is It Hard to Make Money Doing Taxes?

So you have completed your 60 hours of tax education, and now you have your PTIN and are all ready to saddle up and get going.  So this is where the situation becomes a bit murky-in terms of the direction you want to head.  Like many things, getting a tax license is not very difficult, but it is what you do with it that matters.  Finding a reputable company should be a priority, and companies like H&R Block have a farm system where they may hire you directly from their in person 60 hour course.  If you go it on your own, you are going to be looking at some solid start- up costs, because tax programs don’t come that cheap.

Becoming a Tax Preparer is Easy

Okay, here’s the deal.  As previously notated, the procedural aspect of gaining a tax license is basic and can be done quickly with relative rapidity.  The key angle when answering the question of how hard is to become a tax preparer is how hard is to BE a tax preparer.  To survive in the super crowded world of tax preparation, you must persevere to be the best, most knowledgeable, most personable tax preparer you can be.  You need to keep up with the ever changing revolving door of the 17,000 pages of the tax code.  You must constantly change and evolve in your marketing techniques.  The web site designs of just three years ago will look antiquated compared to the sharp, simple, and entertaining business sites of the here and now.  Get your mind right, and once you get the license, decide for yourself.  Do you want to be an average tax preparer that just makes a cool ten Gs a year and collects minimal unemployment during the off season?  Or do you want to grow your company to the point where one of the big boys comes to you, buys you out and you then find yourself bathing in the Bahamas under sunshine for the remainder of your time breathing.  It can happen…It has happened.  Now go do your thing son!