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How to become a tax preparer

3 min read

3 min read

H&R Block

Maybe you’ve done your own taxes and really enjoyed it. Or maybe you’ve experienced the help of a pro at a tax preparation service and thought, “I want to do this, too!”  Whatever it is that’s sparked your interest, at Block, we’re all for people wanting to learn how to become a tax preparer.  

Becoming a professional tax preparer can be a great way to combine a knack for numbers and a heart for making an impact in people’s financial lives. As a tax preparer, you can help people with their unique tax situation.

Not sure where to begin?  We’ll walk you through what a tax preparer does and a few common paths to learning income tax return preparation, as there’s no one tax preparer course for U.S. income taxes.

Heads up — H&R Block does offer an income tax course each year. We’ll tell you more as you read along.

What does a tax preparer do?

In the day to day, most tax preparers help people complete their business or individual income tax forms for their state and federal tax returns and help file them with the state revenue offices and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).   

Depending on the type of certification, some tax preparers can also represent their clients in front of the IRS in tax court if needed.

Tax preparer course or tax preparer certification

If you’re exploring how to become a tax professional, you should know all tax preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which requires a suitability check along with a registration fee.

Outside of having a PTIN, there are many types of tax preparer licenses and certifications, but the requirements are different for each.  Here are a couple of the most common:

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) –This is likely the most well-known type of certified tax preparer. CPAs are licensed at the state level and are required to pass the Uniform CPA Examination. Generally, you have to complete studies in accounting at a college or university, which may include a tax prep class or other courses to learn about preparing taxes, auditing or even financial planning.

Enrolled Agent (EA) – This designation is the highest credential the IRS awards. To become an Enrolled Agent, you’ll need to pass a three-part tax preparer exam called the Special Enrollment Examination. Plus, you’ll need to complete continuing education every three years to maintain your status and knowledge. Unlike university courses for CPAs, there aren’t tax prep classes for EA designation required by the IRS.

Income Tax Course at H&R Block – Each year, H&R Block offers an Income Tax Course that will help you learn to do taxes. These self-paced, online classes give you hands-on experience via interactive and professional tax prep exercises – all taught by H&R Block tax pro instructors.

Here’s a sampling of what the course covers:  filing requirements, self-employment income, qualifying dependents, interest and dividend income, and more. Beyond crunching the numbers, helping people with their taxes can be meaningful and make an impact far greater than any refund amount.

Working at H&R Block

Considering applying for a role or tax preparer jobs at H&R Block? As a tax pro at H&R Block, you could have a career with purpose and flexible hours.

Get started

Find out more about our Income Tax Course and jobs available at H&R Block.

Get started today!

Enrollment in, or completion of, the H&R Block Income Tax Course is neither an offer nor a guarantee of employment. Additional qualifications may be required. Enrollment restrictions apply.

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