Accountants aren’t the only ones busy at tax time. Big and small companies around the country often hire administrative support and tax preparers for the season.
Becoming a Tax Preparer
Simply put, tax preparers help clients with their tax return forms. Neighborhood, online and major firms all use seasonal preparers and offer flexible, day, night and weekend schedules. As The Balance explains:
A tax preparation job can be a great way to earn extra money during income tax season and can sometimes lead to other, more permanent opportunities in accounting and finance.
In general, tax season jobs are best suited for candidates who are organized and detail oriented. Strong people skills and communication abilities are also important.
You may need to speak with clients about their personal finances, which is a very intimate topic of conversation and may need to share unwelcome news, such as when clients owe a lot of money.
Organize Your Credentials
All paid federal tax return preparers are required to have a preparer tax identification number (PTIN), which is issued by the IRS and must be renewed annually. The IRS is accepting applications and renewals now. There is no fee to obtain a PTIN.Obtaining one involves answering suitability questions. Investopedia notes that the purpose of the PTIN is to protect the privacy of tax preparers and that in spring 2020, 753,884 individuals held current PTIN numbers!
Thomson Reuters advises checking with your state too—some require a license to be a tax preparer. Note that frequently, a pre-requisite to getting licensed is securing a Tax Preparer’s License Bond. Let a leading, national bond provider, Colonial Surety Company help you obtain your bond quickly, affordably and easily: Tax Preparers License Bond Here.
Step By Step
A quick online search will reveal that there are plenty of courses and workshops available to help you quickly get started as a tax preparer. As you gain experience, you’ll work your way forward in the field. Thomson Reuters offers this example of what your path might look like:
In the first year, most new preparers will focus on raw data entry. The second year brings a little more autonomy. By the third year, you’re armed with the necessary experience and skills to work as a full-fledged staff preparer.
After the initial period of seasoning, it takes about five years to learn the nuances and niche areas of your clients and your practice. In that time, you gain expertise that differentiates you as a tax preparer and allows you to set yourself apart in the market.
Here To Help!
Remember, Colonial Surety Company can help you obtain a Tax Preparers License Bond. This is a type of surety bond required on the path to licensure in some states. Essentially, a tax preparers license bond guarantees you will comply with applicable laws.
As a leading, national surety bond provider, Colonial offers a unique, self-service, digital way to obtain required license and permit bonds quickly and efficiently. Colonial’s portfolio includes over 4,000 instant, digital bonds, covering a wide range of business and professional needs. With just a few clicks you’ll:
- Get a quote online
- Fill out your information
- Enter your payment method.
- Print or e-file your bond from anywhere.
Founded in 1930 and licensed for business in every state, Colonial Surety Company is an A (Excellent) rated insurance company by A.M. Best and U.S. Treasury listed.