What does a Tax Preparer do?
Tax Preparers work for financial institutions to provide specific tax advice and submit a person or business entity’s taxes. Their role is to produce error-free tax forms on behalf of a client to maximize their financial health. They review the past tax returns of their clients and collect new tax data to calculate how much their client owes. They give advice on future tax planning and communicate with clients about upcoming tax requirements and deadlines. Tax Preparers can upkeep an individual’s tax files or work with a business’s tax records and help distribute W-2s to employees.
Tax Preparer skills and qualifications
Tax Preparers use their transferable soft skills, technical abilities and industry knowledge to ensure returns are on-time, complete and accurate. These skills and qualifications often include:
- In-depth knowledge of applicable tax laws, regulations and deadlines
- Proficiency with common tax preparation, word processing and spreadsheet software applications
- Familiarity with the tax return submission and confirmation process, including how to navigate the IRS and other government entity online platforms
- Excellent customer service skills, including patience and flexibility
- Great organizational skills, including time management and strategic thinking
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Keen attention to detail
Tax Preparer salary expectations
A Tax Preparer makes an average of $16.45 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location.
Tax Preparer education and training requirements
Tax Preparer candidates should have at least a high school diploma or GED and completed coursework in tax preparation, accounting, bookkeeping, business finance and other relevant topics. Roles that only handle simple tax returns may only require minimum education and on-the-job training. Single corporations or roles with more complex tax return duties may require an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or another relevant field. Previous training with federal, state and local tax laws may be demonstrated with completed federal and/or state examination and certification or licensure.
Tax Preparer experience requirements
Entry-level Tax Preparer candidates may have the minimum education with 1 or 2 years of previous work experience in customer service, administrative support, accounting or another relevant field. Some candidates may have worked only 1 or a few previous tax seasons in this role. Experienced candidates may have 3 or more years of previous experience in those fields or have previous experience as a Tax Preparer. Other experienced candidates may also have experience as a Certified Public Accountant, demonstrating more advanced knowledge of best practices and experience with tax audits.
Job description samples for similar positions
If the job description for the Tax Preparer does not suit your needs, view descriptions for related professions: