How to Choose the Right Tax Education Provider


There are a lot of different choices out there for tax education and training and they are all not equal. Choosing the right school can mean a lot of research and emailing back and forth with instructors or sales people to make sure you choose the school with the best value that fits your needs and provides adequate training. The problem is, where do you start? What questions do you ask and what should you look for in a tax school?

Without being biased, we’ve put together a list of credentials that a good tax school should have. We’ve also got some questions you should ask before purchasing a tax course.


Standards and credentials

It’s important for a company who is training or providing education to meet a certain set of standards set by governing or organizational bodies within the industry. For tax schools that means the following associations/organizations:


Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

California Tax Education Council (CTEC)

State of Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners (OBTP)

These organizations have strict requirements for content (especially NASBA). A company that is willing to go through all of that is one that is committed to quality education. The school’s curriculum should also conform to the new more rigorous standards imposed in 2014 by NASBA, CTEC, Oregon and IRS.  A good indication of this is approval of the school’s curriculum as a NASBA sponsor of CPE for CPAs. You should look for those organization’s approval seals on the website you are researching or be sure to contact the education provider and ask.


Number of Years in Business

Another good indicator is how long the company has been in business. While there’s nothing wrong with a new business, you want to ensure you are getting an education from instructors who have experience in the tax industry. A company that has been in business for a while has likely fine tuned their training and courses and has worked in the industry for a while.


Testimonials and Reviews

Another place to look would be on the education provider’s website for testimonials and product, course or instructor reviews. You can also look on their Facebook page (if they have one) and Google+ or Google Local page.

The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to go for consumer reports. A good rating shows that the company has not had a lot of complaints from consumers and is a trusted business.


Instructor Support

Understanding the materials and learning in a way you will retain the knowledge is also important. The education provider you choose should provide you with instructor support so that you can ask questions or get assistance as needed.


They Stay On-Top of New Issues in the Tax Industry

The education provider you choose should always be on-top of changes to the industry and new credentials that you may need. For example, there should be a course (or they should be developing one) for Affordable Care Act regulations and also one for the IRS Annual Federal Tax Refresher. When doing research, look for information about these two programs on their website. Lack thereof might indicate that the provider fails to keep up with the changes made to the industry.


Here’s why you should choose The Income Tax School

The Income Tax School has been in business since 1989. We are approved by all of the groups listed and have an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau. In fact, Intuit chose ITS to partner with after vetting all comparable tax schools in the US, and Intuit refers to ITS as “Best in Class.”  We also have lots of testimonials and product reviews on our site as well as on our Facebook page.

As for support, we offer live chat support and also lots of instructor support over the phone or through email. We always welcome questions even after our students graduate.

The education provided to you and how well you learn and retain it will ultimately determine your success in the industry. Be choosy and ask questions!

More articles on tax credentials and education:

A Sneak Peak at What’s Covered on the AFTR

Tax Pros: Are You Ready to Go Back to School?

How to Become a Tax Preparer and Start Earning Money