Preparing for the Real World

As I completed the tests for Chapter 2 and 3, I felt a little uncomfortable with my excessive need to keep flipping back through the chapters to check my answers on the tax return preparation questions. By nature, I really like to double check things, but when I tried to picture myself with an actual client it just didn’t feel right.  I’ve mentioned in a previous post that there were some things I wanted to have memorized.  Things, to me anyway, that seemed like they should be a part of a preparer’s basic understanding.  For example, typical statuses, typical items included or excluded from gross income, and anything else that a client would expect a professional preparer to know.  Keeping that in mind, I feel like I should really work on treating the tax preparation assignments as if they were real situations and clients. It’s still pretty early right now and the situations aren’t very complicated but I feel like getting into that mindset will be helpful in the future. However, I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I avoid looking up things I’m not sure about.  As discussed in this post, taxpayers rely on preparers to accurately and efficiently complete their returns, not to guess.  However, through study and repetition I’m hoping to reduce the number of times I have to look something basic up.  If I can get to this point without software, it should only get easier with it.

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