Tax Preparer Salary in California

Tax Preparer Salary in California

By Tim Frye

Are you looking to make a good salary doing taxes in California?  Well, technically, a salary is not even possible.  When you prepare taxes you generally are working on a commission or hourly rate, depending on the company you are with or if you work for yourself.  Set salary jobs are not part of tax preparation like they are in accounting.  This article will specify the ways in which tax preparers make their money and how payment is different from a salaried job.


No yearly Salary with Tax Preparation

When you prepare taxes, the bulk money-making time is going to be from January 1st to April 15th, and you will have to scrap to find ways to make money the rest of the year (if you are planning on doing taxes year round).  Many people see getting a high salary as proof that they have made it, and they feel comfortable knowing that set check it coming to them every two weeks.  Good employers will give them health insurance, possibly dental; will many times reimburse many of their fringe business expenses.  Life is good.  Tax preparation is not that job.  This is where tax preparation is in direct correlation to the real estate profession, where your performance correlates directly to your paycheck. 

Can I Make More Than a Salary Job Preparing Taxes?

So now the question is what is the benefit of being a tax preparer rather than working for a company that will pay you a set salary that will keep you nice and safe for the long run, assuming you’re at least showing up to work and doing what is asked of you.  If you are a self-employed tax preparer and are doing an average of five or six returns a day for the entirety of tax season, you can make some pretty good scratch.  And after a few years of building your business, getting past those startup costs and gaining a solid and consistent clientele, you may be able to make more in four months than many make in their salary job for the whole year!  There are plenty of tax preparers out there who make thirty thousand in four months and that is considered a decent salary with the current state of the economy being the way it is. 

The Downside of a Salary Job

The trouble with a salary job is the same as its benefit.  It’s the safe way to go.  We all know, however, that the safe way to go can sometime inhibit your growth as a business-man or woman.  Self-employed tax preparation is by no means safe, but when you’re at a salary job you growth is controlled by the man above you.  You may have your set raise periods, your nice little health insurance to protect you, but you are ultimately held back in the end from really climbing the ladder as fast as you would like.  When you prepare taxes in the self-employed manner, and develop some serious skills and knowhow in the business, the sky can be the limit when it comes to financial freedom.