A PCS-Proof Career for Military Spouses
May 10, 2019
Today is National Military Spouse Appreciation Day!
The Income Tax School (ITS) is grateful for you, our military spouses. We understand the sacrifices you make daily for our country and your family, which is why we are proud to offer a career solution perfect for you!
Our ITS Chartered Tax Certificate Programs are designed to help you make tax preparation a part of your career in whatever way works best for you. Whether you want to find employment with someone else’s business or start your own practice, our programs provide everything you need to know to become an excellent tax preparer. Tax preparation is a great career for military families because it’s a portable and flexible job, a lucrative career, and there are no prerequisites!
Your career needs to be portable so when you get your PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders, you don’t lose your job, too. That is why tax preparation is such a great option! Tax prep is PCS-proof. You can be a tax preparer anywhere – wherever there are U.S. taxpayers, there is a need for tax preparers. That even includes bases overseas. Most tax and CPA firms are overwhelmed during tax season with tons of clients needing returns and not enough qualified preparers. After taking our Comprehensive Tax Course – the first course in any of our Certificate Programs – you are more than qualified to be hired as a tax preparer, or you could even start a new practice all your own! Check out this video from Tynisa Gaines, EA on her journey to becoming a tax preparer as a military spouse.
For those who want to work on their own, a great way to start getting clients is to offer your services to your friends and family, and then expand your client list to colleagues at the military base. Tax clients typically continue to ask their tax preparers to do their returns remotely even if they or their tax preparer relocate. Remote tax preparation is easy using the Internet, phone and e-mail. Real-time interviews can also be conducted by web-cam, Skype, or FaceTime. So, when you do relocate, you can keep all your old clients and add new ones wherever you go!
Working remotely already gives you a ton of flexibility, but a tax preparer’s work-life balance can also be molded to fit any needs. You can turn tax preparation into a reliable side-hustle, get hired by an established tax or CPA firm, or even build your own business with added services grounded in your tax prep expertise! After you start earning money by taking on basic individual tax returns, you can progress through our other courses and expand into more complicated individual and small business returns. These added skills will increase your value and allow you to charge more for your services.
Not only can you choose the type of tax prep job you want, but you can commit as little or as much time as you want to your work. If you decide to go out on your own, you can create your own work hours. Even if you’re working for another company, many tax preparers are able to negotiate flexible work schedules of days, nights, and weekends. Tax season is only from January to mid-April, after all, so most tax preparers have their summers and holidays off! Opportunities to have the whole family together can be rare for military families, so being able to create and change your schedule to accommodate your needs is one of the absolute best reasons to make tax prep the foundation of your career.
As an experienced tax preparer working for someone else, you could earn $25 per hour or more, and self-employed tax professionals can earn more than $100 per hour. During the 3-month tax season (mid-January to mid-April) it’s possible for a self-employed tax preparer to earn over $50,000. It’s an earn-as-you-go industry, so the more returns you’re able to complete the more money you’ll make – there’s no limit!
As you gain experience and the ability to take on more complicated returns, you’ll be able to charge more and more for your services. For those who make tax preparation the core of their business, you can begin to add year-round income opportunities like bookkeeping, payroll, and financial planning. These added services will bring in extra income throughout the year and help you become a one-stop shop for all your clients’ financial needs. This type of structure is not only lucrative, but reliable. These services are not going anywhere – businesses will always need to file their taxes, pay their employees, and plan for their future earnings. When you can advise your clients how to save money you become an essential and valuable asset to their business and they will pay you accordingly.
So many career paths today are incredibly expensive and require years of schooling before you’re even qualified to get your first job. Too many students leave these paths burnt out and highly in debt. A career as a tax preparer is possible without putting yourself into debt and without a college degree – you don’t even need to know accounting or high-level math. The most important attributes for success as a tax preparer are the ability to read and comprehend the tax laws and excellent people skills. If you’ve got that, you’re golden!
Our Certificate Programs are designed to help you make tax preparation part of your career at any level you wish. The Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA®) program is great for those who want to become experts at individual returns to add a reliable source of income to their earnings. The Chartered Tax Consultant (CTC®) program takes the next step, adding small business returns to your toolkit. Adding small business clients is the first step to expanding your services and increasing your value. Finally, the Chartered Tax Professional (CTP®) program is our most advanced option that brings you straight to the top of the field. After completing the CTP® program and taking an Enrolled Agent review course, you will have all the knowledge you need to sit for the IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) exam. When passed, an EA is the highest designation offered by the IRS and allows you to charge a premium for your services.
How to Get Started with The Income Tax School – You May Qualify for MyCAA Funding!
Now that you’ve decided to make tax preparation the foundation of your career, you of course need to consider the cost of getting started. That’s where MyCAA comes in.
As you may know, the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program is a career development and employment assistance program sponsored by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program. MyCAA provides up to $4,000 ($2,000 per year over 2 years) of Financial Assistance for qualifying military spouses who are continuing their education by pursuing a license, certification, or Associates degree in a portable career field and occupation.
With MyCAA, The Income Tax School Chartered Tax Certificate Programs tuition costs are fully covered, so you don’t need to worry about cost at all! All courses are available online with 24/7 access and instructor support by email. As if you needed another reason to get started, you can use MyCAA funding for any of our Certificate Programs simply by applying through the MyCAA website and selecting your Certificate Program on the ITS School page.