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All About Tax Preparers

Tax Preparer Example Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses.

A Day in the Life of a Tax Preparer

  • Calculate form preparation fees according to return complexity and processing time required.
  • Explain federal and state tax laws to individuals and companies.
  • Furnish taxpayers with sufficient information and advice to ensure correct tax form completion.
  • Consult tax law handbooks or bulletins to determine procedures for preparation of atypical returns.
  • Prepare or assist in preparing simple to complex tax returns for individuals or small businesses.
  • Use all appropriate adjustments, deductions, and credits to keep clients' taxes to a minimum.

What Every Tax Preparer Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Tax Preparers say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

  • Tax Manager
  • Licensed Tax Consultant
  • Income Tax Advisor
  • Income Tax Preparer
  • Corporate Tax Preparer

Is There Going to be Demand for Tax Preparers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 95,900 jobs in the United States for Tax Preparer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 10,300 new jobs for Tax Preparer by 2026. The BLS estimates 11,500 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Tax Preparer are Tennessee, Utah, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Missouri, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Tax Preparer

The typical yearly salary for Tax Preparers is somewhere between $20,550 and $81,720.

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Tax Preparers who work in New York, Massachusetts, or Colorado, make the highest salaries.

How much do Tax Preparers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $38,520
Alaska $55,760
Arizona $39,270
Arkansas $36,240
California $57,040
Colorado $57,650
Connecticut $50,810
District of Columbia $97,070
Florida $39,020
Georgia $39,950
Hawaii $55,990
Idaho $33,220
Illinois $30,200
Indiana $40,780
Iowa $42,930
Kansas $37,320
Kentucky $37,920
Louisiana $39,590
Maine $38,270
Maryland $52,530
Massachusetts $65,670
Minnesota $50,440
Mississippi $28,770
Missouri $40,480
Montana $40,170
Nebraska $37,530
Nevada $49,030
New Hampshire $49,090
New Jersey $51,840
New Mexico $42,040
New York $63,440
North Carolina $45,460
North Dakota $53,920
Ohio $47,010
Oklahoma $42,820
Oregon $56,960
Pennsylvania $38,910
Rhode Island $41,770
South Carolina $41,000
South Dakota $42,650
Tennessee $46,670
Texas $49,750
Utah $46,470
Vermont $46,830
Virginia $34,090
Washington $38,130
West Virginia $30,910
Wisconsin $45,840
Wyoming $29,160

What Tools & Technology do Tax Preparers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Tax Preparers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Sage 50 Accounting
  • Tax software
  • Intuit Quicken
  • ATX Total Accounting Office
  • Web page creation and editing software
  • Laserfiche Avante
  • Universal Tax Systems TaxWise
  • Intuit ProSeries
  • CCH ProSystem fx TAX
  • ATX Total Tax Office
  • Sync Essentials Trade Accountant

How to Become a Tax Preparer

Are there Tax Preparers education requirements?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Who Employs Tax Preparers?

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The table below shows the approximate number of Tax Preparers employed by various industries.

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Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Tax Preparer might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Tax Preparer in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Pixabay via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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