How to Become a Tax Preparer in Texas

Earn extra cash working as a tax preparer.

Tax season is a dreaded time for many taxpayers. For someone who doesn't know all the ins and outs of tax law, filing a tax return can be a daunting task. And with all the credits, deductions, forms, and yearly updates, it can all be quite overwhelming. This is why we have professional tax preparers. If you have what it takes, you can put some extra cash in your pocket during tax season as a preparer. Texas is full of resources to help you become a tax preparer even if you have no prior experience.

Step 1

Enroll in tax training courses. Many community colleges and tax services offer courses on tax preparation. Classes can last from several days to weeks and are typically offered in day, evening, and weekend hours to fit your schedule. Some places that offer tax training in Texas are Austin Community College and H&R Block. If you are unable to fit classroom time into your schedule, you may choose to learn online in a virtual classroom such as The Income Tax School.

Step 2

Obtain a Preparer Taxpayer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. There are no licenses or certifications required to become a tax preparer in Texas, but the IRS requires that every paid preparer have a PTIN. This or your Social Security Number must be entered to identify you as the preparer on each return that you prepare. A PTIN can be requested for free by visiting the IRS website.

Step 3

Apply for jobs with tax firms, accountants, local tax preparation businesses, or prepare taxes on your own as a sole proprietor. If you are going to be working on your own, it is a good idea to purchase some type of business insurance to protect you from any potential liability issues. If you are interested in doing volunteer tax preparation, you may consider volunteering to prepare returns through a county-run service.

Tip

Often times, students of income tax courses run by local tax services such as H&R Block are offered jobs by the company upon course completion.

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