Why Professional Tax Preparer May Be the Job for You

May 7, 2024

Choosing a career can be stressful. What one person might find fulfilling, another may find annoying. Some people like working indoors in controlled environments, while others want to brave the outdoors in all kinds of weather. Remote or in-office, part-time or full-time, additional schooling versus on-the-job training, and what wages someone is willing to work for all play into the decision.

If you like numbers, working with private or corporate clients, and paying attention to the details, then a professional tax preparer may be the perfect job for you.

Job Security

It doesn’t matter what happens in the economy; most US citizens and all US-based businesses will pay federal and state taxes yearly. While some can use simple online programs, others have more complicated situations or find the tax filing process so stressful and complex that they would rather pay someone else to do the work.

In addition to seasonal tax work, many companies file projected tax returns quarterly to prevent lofty tax amounts due in April. Companies may hire a full-time bookkeeper or CPA to keep track of all monetary transactions. They may seek counseling between tax sessions regarding decisions affecting their future taxes. There are lots of niches to choose from.

Flexibility

Never in the history of humankind have tax workers had more freedom than they do now. With current technology, you can work from any state for any socioeconomic group because you have:

  • Video calls to help you gather information and have face-to-face discussions to clarify points.
  • Cloud-based tax preparation software that makes it possible for you to work anywhere you have wifi access.
  • Digital signatures software allowing your clients to sign returns without ever stepping into the same room with you.
  • Secure and encrypted document uploads that let you transfer documents safely from and to anywhere.
  • Online payment screens enabling you to collect payments long distance.
  • Appointment scheduling software that can help you run an office with minimal staff.
  • E-filing authorization from the IRS that lets you file documents through their secure systems from anywhere in the world.
  • Bank products for tax preparers allow you to serve communities that need quicker turnaround times on their refunds and also enable them to access professional services they may not be able to afford otherwise.

Beyond the technology, professional tax preparers choose their hours based on the number of clients they take, what services they offer, and the time zones in which they work. If you hold your license in California, you can only work with clients based in that state, but you can do it from any other state you want to live.

If you’re sick or one of your kids has a dance recital or soccer game, you can schedule your clients to suit your needs, working late or early or doubling up tomorrow. You never have to miss another life event if you work for yourself.

Then again, you could work for another company, allowing them to take the risk of owning a business and pay for a brick-and-mortar location, electrical bills, and all the other associated expenses. Some people prefer to work for others but want to earn a decent wage doing it.

Remote Learning

Educational opportunities offer a lot of flexibility as well. You can study while working another job, taking care of kids, or other activities. You can choose to go for the certificate through an accredited online school or attend online college courses to get your CPA. You decide how much effort you put into it based on the money you want to make with each client or from your prospective employer.

You can also get the certificate to break into the business and continue attending school to get your CPA while making good money. While it may vary significantly from state to state, the median wage for professional tax preparers is $55,840, and for accountants and auditors, it is $86,740 a year.

Last Thoughts

Whether you’re thinking about your college major, want to improve your wage or job flexibility, or want to own a business, professional tax preparer might be just the gig for you. There are so many different directions you can take and so many niches to try.

Then again, if you want to use this as a milestone in a longer career path, that works, too. Tax professionals in leadership positions dealing with international taxes can make $150,000 or more. By getting your certificate and investing in affordable tax software, you can gain valuable experience and a decent wage while continuing your education.

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