Tax Preparer Career Information
Tax preparers either work independently or with an organization to help individuals or companies prepare their tax statements, making the appropriate calculations and ensuring that all deductions and figures, etc. are accurate and up-to-date. In general, it can be challenging to prepare for this career using only free online resources, although there are available options.
|Required Skills||Math skills, organizational skills, eye for detail|
|Job Growth||6% for 2018-2028*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$39,390*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Free Online Steps for Becoming a Tax Preparer
Many employers tend to hire tax preparers who have some sort of official certification, such as being a CPA, or who have completed education or training in the field. Those looking to enter this career online for free, as shown in the following steps, might have better luck working as self-employed tax preparers for individuals or families.
Step 1: Sharpen your Skills
This is a career that requires a certain level of skill in math. Having these math skills is also important in terms of holding onto clients by way of avoiding errors in arithmetic on official tax forms. Luckily there are free online resources for sharpening your math skills. Free online math apps, study guides, and video lessons can help you acquire and sharpen the skills you will need to become a tax preparer. There are also training options specific to tax education available online. Some online tax courses, for example, have no tuition fee, although may require you to purchase a book for the class.
Step 2: Learn the Software
Much of the work of tax preparers is aided by tax preparation software. These programs have been made more and more user-friendly, but you will still have to know how to use them, as well as where and how to enter information into them. Luckily there are free online video tutorials that can assist you in learning the software, as well as freely available web guides that can take you through the various tasks and processes of the software, including how to interpret it, ways to utilize it, and methods to check your work.
Step 3: Market Your Services
Since working as an independent tax preparer is one of the only ways to enter this field without upfront expenses, marketing your services to potential clients will be your next step in becoming a tax preparer. There are many apps, websites, and services you can utilize online to get the word out about the services you can provide to clients. Creating social media pages on various popular and free social media sites and apps can help you reach clients without spending any money on advertising and can provide a way for potential clients to contact you. You can also create a blog through a number of free blog-hosting platforms to describe in more detail the value of the services you have to offer and how people can go about contracting your services.