Essentials Required To Become A Tax Preparer: Learn how to Become a Tax Return Preparer and Start a Tax Preparation Business


An Introduction to the Importance Of Tax Preparation and the Essentials Required to Become a Tax Preparer

Isn’t it intriguing how some people find their passion in numbers, especially when it comes to tax preparation? If you’re one of them, this article is your treasure trove. Delving into the intricate web of IRS regulations and tax laws, professional tax preparers must navigate the ever-changing landscape of tax codes to prepare tax returns accurately and efficiently. Becoming a tax professional isn’t just about crunching numbers; it’s about becoming a trusted advisor who ensures individuals and businesses comply with tax regulations while optimizing their financial outcomes.

Professional Tax Preparers must undergo rigorous training and stay up-to-date with the latest tax laws and regulations. The IRS sets high standards for tax professionals, requiring them to meet specific educational and ethical requirements. Thankfully, Universal Accounting Center offers affordable, self-paced training to certify you as an IRS-approved tax preparer. As such, you can play a crucial role in helping clients understand complex tax codes, identify deductions and credits, and prepare accurate tax returns that can withstand scrutiny.

Definition of a Tax Preparer

A Professional Tax Preparer is a certified professional responsible for calculating, filing, and signing income tax returns on behalf of individuals and businesses.

Why You Need to Become a Tax Preparer

Job Stability

With tax season coming around each year, there’s no shortage of work.

Financial Rewards

On average, a seasoned tax preparer can make a significant income, particularly during the busy season.


A tax preparer may work part-time or even remotely, offering a work-life balance that’s hard to beat, especially once the April deadline passes.

Qualifications and Education for Tax Preparers

Academic Background for Tax Preparation

Having a degree in accounting or a related field certainly helps, but it is not the only route to mastering tax law and return preparation. What truly matters is acquiring a profound understanding of these subjects, and it’s never too late to become a certified Professional Tax Preparer through an online training provider like Universal Accounting Center.

Continuing education and staying updated with ever-changing tax regulations is a must to excel in this field. It is crucial to develop strong research skills and to be able to interpret complex tax laws accurately. In addition, practical experience and hands-on training like what’s offered in Universal Accounting’s Professional Tax Preparer program are invaluable in gaining a deep understanding of the intricacies of tax law and the complexities of return preparation. 

Courses and Training for Aspiring Tax Preparers

Specialized tax preparation courses are essential for anyone looking to achieve success in this field. These courses provide comprehensive knowledge, covering everything from tax codes to the latest software used by professionals. In order to excel in tax preparation, individuals need an in-depth understanding of the tax regulations, rules, and laws specific to their jurisdiction. 

By enrolling in specialized courses, aspiring tax professionals can develop these crucial skills. Universal Accounting Center’s Professional Tax Preparer certification course takes about 4-to-6 weeks to complete, though it is self-paced. The course sets you up to represent your clients before the IRS in case of an audit as an Enrolled Agent.

The Professional Tax Preparer program includes access to a state-of-the art tax preparation software: UAC TAX. Our team of expert coaches will help you understand how to navigate and leverage this software for a successful career in tax preparation.

Steps You Need to Take to Become a Professional Tax Preparer

To become a professional tax preparer, there are several steps you need to take.

  • First, you should start by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. This will provide you with a solid foundation in tax laws, regulations, and financial principles.
  • Next, you should consider getting certified as a tax preparer. This will demonstrate your expertise and enhance your credibility in the field. There are several professional organizations, such as Universal Accounting Center or the National Association of Tax Professionals, that offer certification programs.
  • Additionally, you should gain practical experience by working in a tax preparation firm or under the guidance of an experienced tax preparer. This will allow you to apply the knowledge you have gained and learn from real-world scenarios. Universal Accounting Center offers coaching, regular conferences with fellow professionals and a FaceBook group for professionals who start their own tax preparation firms.
  • Finally, staying updated on changes in tax laws and regulations is crucial. Attend seminars, workshops, and conferences to stay abreast of any changes and advancements in the field.

By following these steps, you can become a professional tax preparer and provide effective tax services to clients. 

IRS and Tax Law Knowledge

To excel as a tax preparer, you must become well-versed in IRS regulations and tax codes. Understanding the intricacies of tax law is essential to providing accurate guidance to your clients.

Professional Tax Preparation

Learning the art of preparing tax returns is at the core of your role. Acquiring an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is a vital step in starting your tax practice and becoming a recognized tax preparer.

Starting a Tax Preparation Business

For those looking to turn their passion into a profession, starting a  business that provides tax preparation services is a viable option. It involves legal and financial considerations, but the rewards can be substantial.

Tax Software

Today, technology plays a significant role in tax preparation. Familiarize yourself with the software used by tax professionals to streamline your work and enhance efficiency, such as UACTAX. Tax software has become an integral tool in the world of tax preparation. With the advent of technology, professionals in the field now rely on software to streamline their work and enhance efficiency. By familiarizing yourself with the software used by tax professionals, you can also benefit from these advancements.

There are various tax preparation software available, each with its own unique features and functionalities. These programs are designed to assist you in completing tax forms accurately and efficiently. They often come equipped with features such as automated calculations, electronic filing capabilities, and error-checking mechanisms. Tax software can also help you stay up-to-date with the latest tax laws and regulations, ensuring compliance with the ever-changing tax landscape. 

Overall, utilizing tax software can significantly simplify the tax preparation process, saving you time and reducing the likelihood of errors. 

Types of Tax Returns and Specializations

Tax return preparers are responsible for handling different types of tax returns, catering to the diverse needs of individuals and businesses. One common type is the individual tax return, which is filed by individuals to report their income and claim any deductions or credits they may be eligible for. 

This includes wage earners, freelancers, and self-employed individuals. On the other hand, business tax returns are submitted by different types of businesses, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs). These returns involve reporting the company’s income, expenses, and other related information.

Moreover, tax preparers also deal with specialty returns, which cover specific groups or situations. For instance, there are returns specifically designed for non-profit organizations, estates and trusts, and individuals with foreign assets or income. Each type of return requires tax preparers to have a comprehensive understanding of the applicable tax laws and regulations, as well as the ability to accurately gather and report the necessary information for filing. 

Becoming a Certified Tax Preparer

Obtaining professional certifications, such as Professional Tax Preparer (PTP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA), can boost your credibility and open doors to more opportunities. 

Business Aspects of Tax Preparation

Managing the business side of tax return preparation is critical. This includes client management, marketing, and financial planning to maximize profits.

Tax Preparer Ethics and Responsibilities

Upholding ethical standards is paramount. As a tax preparer, you carry a significant responsibility to both your clients and the Internal Revenue Service. Maintaining honesty and integrity in your work is not just a guideline; it’s a fundamental requirement. Upholding these ethical standards is essential as you navigate the intricacies of federal tax returns, continuously enhance your expertise through tax courses and continuing education requirements, operate as a paid tax preparer, and strive to earn tax preparer certification.


The IRS website stands as a valuable and indispensable tool in your arsenal. It offers a wealth of information, including access to tax forms, publications, and crucial updates on ever-evolving tax laws. Staying informed and utilizing these resources will not only enhance your capabilities but also ensure you provide accurate and compliant services to your clients. 

With a commitment to ethical standards, ongoing education, and a dedication to excellence, you’re well on your way to a successful and fulfilling career in the world of tax preparation. 

Universal Accounting Center’s Professional Tax Preparer certification course gives you all the tools you need to jump in and start a successful accounting business. From mentorship to marketing and beyond, we at Universal Accounting Center want nothing more than to see accounting professionals reach their income and lifestyle goals as entrepreneurs.

Call 877-801-8080 to learn more about how you can start your own tax preparation business in time to profit off of the 2024 tax season. Or schedule a time when it’s more convenient for you.


  • Do I need an accounting degree to become a tax preparer?
    • No. In fact, in just 4-to-6 weeks you can become a certified Professional Tax Preparer with Universal Accounting Center’s online training.
  • Is certification necessary?
    • Yes, you need to be certified to legally prepare taxes.
  • What software do tax preparers commonly use?
    • Software like TurboTax, UACTAX and H&R Block are popular choices.
  • Can I work remotely?
    • Absolutely, many tax preparers work from the comfort of their homes.
  • How do I set my fees?
    • It depends on the complexity of the tax return and market rates. For more information on how to price your services and develop a business plan, click here.

Call Us Today for More Information!

Table of Contents


Featured Articles

5 Small Business Do's and Don'ts _ (1)

Do’s and Don’ts of Small Business

5 Small Business Do’s and Don’ts : A Marketing Tool you can pass on to current and potential customers Note: We’re all about driving business into your doors. The following article is a marketing piece

Read More »

Recommended Reads

Tax Preparation Course

About How it works Testimonials Course Details Coaches Curriculum FAQs Apply Today More than just a Tax Preparation Course We focus on hitting your income & career goals. If you are like our students, you

Read More »

Professional Bookkeeper Certification Course

Get The Skills To Be A Bookkeeping & Accounting Professional     What is our Professional Bookkeeper™ Certification?   Many professions use designations and certifications to identify their areas of expertise. It recognizes individuals as

Read More »

Become An Enrolled Agent, EA

Become An Enrolled Agent, EA An enrolled agent is a tax practitioner who is licensed with the Internal Revenue Service to represent clients before the IRS. An enrolled agent is the highest credential awarded by

Read More »
QuickBooks Specialist Certification.jpg

QuickBooks Certification

Get the Skills to Be a QuickBooks Specialist QuickBooks Specialist™ Certification The Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks is designed to teach anybody how to use QuickBooks. Whether or not you consider yourself a bookkeeping professional,

Read More »

Accountant Certification Programs

Get Certified in Accounting, Bookkeeping, Tax Prep, QuickBooks etc. Enhance & Grow Your Business Knowledge in as little as 4 Weeks with Our Accountant Certification Programs From employers to clients, everyone likes a financial professional

Read More »