Getting Started as a Tax Preparer – FAQs

We get a lot of questions from potential students on the best course of action for pursuing a career as a tax preparer.  We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions to help guide our blog readers who may be asking the same questions.

What prior knowledge do I need to have to get started as a tax preparer?

Our Comprehensive Tax Course requires no prior tax or accounting knowledge and minimal computer skills.  The course teaches you to prepare tax returns manually.  To succeed in the course and as a tax preparer, students should have at least the equivalent of a high school education, the ability to comprehend the income tax regulations and good people skills to interact effectively with taxpayers.

How are your courses delivered?

Our seminars and courses are delivered online through an e-learning system that students can access 24-7 provided they have Internet access.  For reading assignments, the text can be read online or downloaded in PDF format and printed.  Hard copy manuals are also available for many of the courses but are not a requirement. The seminars include learning activities and quizzes – which are automatically graded.  We also provide instructor support by email.  A certificate of completion is issued upon successful completion.

How much does it cost to get started as a tax preparer?

Our Comprehensive Tax Course starts at $397 for the Career Package and $497 for the Start Your Own Tax Business Package.

This 20-lesson course will provide you with the knowledge to prepare individual Form 1040 returns for the general taxpaying public.  You can study at your own pace.  If you complete just two lessons per week, you will finish the course in 10 weeks.  You will receive a certificate of completion after successfully completing the course.

Are your courses credited?

Our courses are non-credit and are designed to teach practical application of tax preparation to enable students to become employed or self-employed as tax professionals.  We teach students to prepare tax returns manually so they learn the tax laws rather than relying on tax preparation software.  Our curriculum developers and instructors are practicing tax professionals.  Our curriculum meets the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Quality Assurance Service (QAS) standards.  Our CTP® certificate program is unique. ITS teaches thousands of students through our learning management system which provides instructional feedback.

When should I begin taking tax courses?

You can start taking the Comprehensive Course any time as long as you complete the course before tax season.  If you also plan to prepare non-individual small business returns such as corporations, you should also take the Small Business I course after completing the Comprehensive.  You can buy both courses as a bundle to save money.  You should allow 3 months for Comprehensive and 2 months for Small Business I.  You will also need time to learn the tax software and plan for tax season.  Therefore, you may want to start by this summer.

Comprehensive Tax Course

Not sure about becoming a tax preparer? Check out our whitepaper:

12 Advantages Of a Career as a Tax Professional.

Still have questions? Leave a comment below!