Who Is A Tax Return Preparer
A tax return preparer means any individual who, for a fee or other consideration, prepares ten or more original or amended IA 1040, IA 1040X, IA 1040C, IA 1041, IA 1120, IA 1120X, IA 1120F, IA 1120S, or IA 1065 returns during a calendar year. An individual is considered to prepare a return when the individual signs the return, either because the individual completed the return, or because the individual assumed final responsibility for preliminary work completed by other individuals. A tax return preparer does not include any individual who prepares tax returns or claims for refunds solely on a volunteer basis.
The following individuals are not subject to the continuing education requirements or penalty provisions described in this guidance:
What Does A Tax Preparer Do
Most tax preparers prepare, file, or assist with general tax forms. Beyond these basic services, a tax preparer can also defend a taxpayer with the IRS. This includes audits and tax court issues. However, the extent of what a tax preparer can do is based on their credentials and whether they have representation rights.
In a way, tax preparers are asked to serve two masters their clients and the IRS. They must assist their clients in complying with the state and federal tax codes, while simultaneously minimizing the clients tax burden. While they are hired to serve their client, they must also diligently remember their obligation to the IRS and not break any laws or help others file a fraudulent return.
Is There Any Punishment For Not Taking A Tax Preparation Course
There is no set punishment for not taking an IRS approved tax preparation course.
However, the IRS may penalize you if they believe you have not taken the necessary steps to prepare your taxes correctly.
There are a number of different penalties that the IRS can impose, including fines and imprisonment.
In some cases, you may also be subject to criminal prosecution.
Benefits Of Irs Approved Tax Preparation Courses
When it comes to preparing your taxes, you want to be sure that you are doing everything correctly.
If you make a mistake on your taxes, it could lead to penalties from the IRS.
This is why many people turn to tax preparation courses to help them get their taxes done right.
There are many benefits of taking an IRS approved tax preparation course.
First of all, these courses can help you learn about all the different deductions and credits that you may be eligible for. They can also help you understand the complex tax laws so that you can file your taxes correctly.
Another benefit of taking a tax preparation course is that it can help reduce the risk of making mistakes on your taxes.
These courses teach you how to properly fill out your tax forms, and they also provide step-by-step instructions for filing your taxes.
Irs Directory Of Tax Preparers
Give your clients peace of mind and get your name listed
CE Self Study offers IRS Approved continuing education tax courses for Enrolled Agents and Tax Preparers who need to fulfill their yearly Continuing Education requirements. Our courses are also designed to provide the necessary tax knowledge for anyone to be successful with their tax business.
Students can access courses and exams any time of the day from a computer or mobile device with internet access.
All Courses are presented as downloadable PDF files, All Exams are taken online through our website, After successfully passing of an exam, students can retrieve their Certificate from the My Courses page, Exams may be retaken for free until a passing score is achieved , The Annual Federal Tax Refresher exam allows 4 attempts
To stay current with the IRS Tax Laws, exam access will expire after 1 year from the course purchase date. Your account will remain active which allows you to retrieve your Order history and Course Certificates.
IMPORTANT NOTE:Though CE Self Study is an IRS Approved CE Provider, we are not registered with Maryland Board of Individual Tax Preparers, or New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
If you are not an Enrolled Agent, CPA, or an Attorney, and you need to prepare tax returns for the state of California, Oregon, Maryland, or New York, please remember to reference these states rules regarding tax preparer licenses as well their annual CE requirements.
Irs Approved Tax Preparation Courses
There are a number of IRS-approved tax preparation courses available to help taxpayers prepare their returns.
The courses are offered by a variety of organizations, including colleges and universities, accounting firms, and nonprofit organizations.
Most of the courses cover the basics of tax law and how to complete the necessary forms.
Some courses also offer more in-depth information on specific topics, such as business taxes or estate planning.
Many of the courses are available online or in person.
They typically last for several hours, and participants receive a certificate upon completion.
We have outlined 10 approved tax preparation courses so far: eight offered by colleges and universities and two offered by accounting firms.
Why Take An Irs Approved Tax Preparation Course
Why would you consider an IRS approved tax preparation course?
That partially depends on your current level of education. If you want to become a CPA, youâll need to be formally certified, with ample time in accounting classes. If you already are a CPA, you can improve your skillset and knowledge with these classes.
Most people see some or all of the following benefits:
- Expanding your resume: The new IRS approved class will teach you about new laws, new tax standards, and other points of information, which should expand your skillset and your resume. That means you should be able to list more services with your tax practice, and work with a much wider client base.
- New business opportunities: If you havenât had the education necessary to complete certain types of tax returns, the class could help you find more business opportunities. For example, you may be able to work with a tax outsourcing specialist and help prepare tax returns for businesses that are struggling with a heavy workload.
- Higher value: If you already offer tax preparation services, becoming certified with an IRS approved tax preparation course could add more value to your services. In many cases, that could allow you to charge more for the same services.
Access To All Natp Online Cpe Courses
The National Association of Tax Professionals offers a variety of online CPE courses that are IRS approved.
The courses cover a variety of topics, such as individual tax return preparation, business tax return preparation, and accounting and bookkeeping.
The courses are self-paced, so you can complete them at your own convenience.
Additionally, the National Association of Tax Professionals offers a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee on all of its courses.
Here is where to enroll for this particular course Access to all NATP online CPE courses click and you would be looking straight to the amazing features of this course
How To Prepare Your Taxes For Entrepreneurs Course By Udemy
As an entrepreneur, tax season can be daunting. But it doesnt have to be.
With the right preparation and education, you can make tax season a breeze.
Udemy offers IRS approved tax preparation courses that will teach you everything you need to know about preparing your taxes as an entrepreneur.
The courses are taught by experts in the field and will cover all of the important topics related to entrepreneurship and taxes.
Youll learn about business deductions, self-employment income, estimated taxes, and more.
Plus, youll get tips and advice from real entrepreneurs who have been through the tax process themselves.
So why wait? Sign up for a Udemy course today and start preparing for tax season like a pro
Here is where to enroll for this particular course on Udemy. Entrepreneurs course Udemy
Registration Availability And Fees
Enrollment is open NOW! Classes typically run September through December. For more information, reach out to your local office.
Liberty Tax School is tuition FREE. There may be a small fee for books and materials, depending on market. Find and contact your local office for more information. Availability is based on classroom capacities per office.
When Will The Continuing Education Requirement Take Effect
Beginning January 1, 2020, and every year thereafter, a tax return preparer must complete 15 hours of continuing education courses during each calendar year to be eligible to prepare tax returns during the following calendar year, regardless of the year of the return they are preparing. At least 2 hours must pertain to professional ethics, and all remaining hours must relate to federal or state income tax. In addition, a new tax return preparer is not required to complete the minimum continuing education courses prior to the first year of preparing tax returns. Therefore, an individual who will qualify as a new tax return preparer during the 2021 calendar year will not be barred from preparing Iowa tax returns during the 2021 calendar year because they failed to complete the minimum continuing education courses during calendar year 2020.
Best For Enrolled Agent Exam Prep: Gleim Enrolled Agent Review
Why We Chose It
You can get access to a robust library of EA review materials from a well-known provider for a reasonable cost, and the highest-cost plan includes up to 72 hours of CPE credit.
Personalized support from a counselor with higher-cost plans
No one-on-one support with the lowest-cost plan
Digital and physical review book only available with higher-cost plans
Gleim Exam Prep has been publishing accounting review courses since 1980. The company offers various accounting exam prep courses that are among the best in the market, including an EA review course that provides a high level of support and materials with the purchase of a Gleim EA review course.
You can choose from three EA exam prep options ranging in cost from $379.85 to $629.95 . If you buy the lowest-cost product, youll get access to an Enrolled Agent exam test bank and either a digital or physical copy of the review book.
With the highest-cost plan, youll get a physical and digital copy of the book along with adaptive technology to guide you to areas you need to study. Youll be able to take a full-length practice exam six times, receive personal support from a counselor, and earn up to 72 hours of CPE credit. This is helpful if you need to meet your annual CPE requirements while studying for the exam.
The amount of time it will take you to complete this course ranges from a couple of months to up to a year or longer.
Irs Free Tax Return Preparation Programs
What are the VITA/TCE Programs?The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for theElderly Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify at thousands of sites across the country.
Become an IRS Tax VolunteerLearn to Prepare Taxes and Make a Difference at the same time. How can you make a difference? Simple. Help your community in preparing taxes free of charge by becoming a volunteer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly Programs.
How To Prepare Your Taxes Course By Udemy
This is one of the courses where you will learn how to complete your own taxes, but many of these courses are also approved by the IRS.
This online course is designed for both individual and business taxpayers.
It covers everything from how to report income and expenses to understanding tax deductions and credits.
In addition, the course includes an interactive quiz at the end of each lesson so you can test your knowledge before moving on.
If youre looking for a more personal approach, many community colleges also offer tax preparation courses.
Here is where to enroll for this particular course on Udemy Fundamentals of Business Taxes course by Udemy
There Are Many Reasons To Volunteer:
- Volunteers can work flexible hours. Volunteers can generally choose their own hours and days to volunteer. Tax preparation sites are usually open from late January through the tax filing deadline in April. Some sites are even open all year.
- Volunteers can work virtually from anywhere. Some volunteer sites will offer virtual help for taxpayers. This allows volunteers to help taxpayers complete their tax returns over the phone or online. Some volunteers will conduct a virtual quality review with the taxpayer before e-filing their tax return.
- No prior experience needed. Volunteers receive specialized training to become IRS-certified. They can also choose from a variety of volunteer roles to serve. VITA and TCE programs want volunteers of all backgrounds and ages, as well as individuals who are fluent in other languages.
- The IRS provides free tax law training and materials. Volunteers receive training materials at no charge. The tax law training covers how to prepare basic federal tax returns electronically. The training also covers tax topics, such as deductions and credits.
- Tax pros can earn continuing education credits. Enrolled agents and non-credentialed tax return preparers can earn continuing educationPDF credits when volunteering as a VITA or TCE instructor, quality reviewer or tax return preparer.
- Read testimonials from real VITA volunteers. Learn more about volunteers who help people in their communities.
How Do I Keep Up With New Tax Law Changes
Keeping up with tax law changes is imperative for both new and experienced preparers. As a result, most preparers invest some time each day checking on any IRS changes, technical corrections, or any other state or local changes that might impact their business.
An excellent first stop is the IRS website, which is full of publications and instructions that will help new and experienced preparers navigate changes to the tax code, as well as commonly asked questions and other useful tips.Checkpoint Edge from Thomson Reuters is another resource for tax professionals who are looking to do their jobs with more accuracy, confidence, and daily news updates. Checkpoint Edge provides you with up-to-date research materials, editorial insight, productivity tools, online learning, and marketing resources that add value to your firm immediately.
Alternatively, if youre on a tight budget, a few well-chosen tax books may be sufficient to begin with.
“Understand that you cannot possibly know every tax law ever written, especially in times of sweeping tax law changes as we are experiencing today. Make yourself valuable by honing your tax research skills. If you don’t know the answer, you must know how to find the answer.”
Linking Volunteers To Quality E
Link & Learn Taxesis the web-based program providing six certification courses for volunteers and a refresher course for returning volunteers. This training prepares Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly partners and volunteers to provide quality tax return preparation services in their local communities. This fun, interactive course teaches you to accurately prepare income tax returns for individuals, and you can obtain volunteer certification along the way at your own pace! Some tax professionals can even earn continuing education credits when certifying at the designated level and meeting other specific requirements.
Best Overall: Surgent Income Tax School
Surgent Income Tax School
Why We Chose It
Tax preparation courses are available for professionals at all knowledge and experience levels at an affordable cost.
Resources are available for beginning and experienced tax pros
Costs are affordable
Surgent has an excellent reputation
Career services arent provided
Can take up to 18 months to complete the program
Surgent was founded in 1985 and is a leading accounting, tax, and finance education provider. The company is well known for its continuing professional education and exam review programs . It also has an Income Tax School with more than 40 online tax training programs offered nationally.
The Surgent Income Tax School offers professional tax preparation courses for individuals at all career levels, including beginners and experienced tax professionals. This includes short, three-hour CPE seminars good for tax professionals needing to maintain their certifications. It also includes comprehensive training for beginners with high school education and no experience who want to become tax professionals.
Costs vary depending on the courses, ranging from a low of $29 for a CPE course up to $1,497 for all five courses in its Chartered Tax Professional program, covering beginner to advanced tax concepts. Upon CTP program completion, youll have the knowledge and experience necessary to prepare for the Enrolled Agent exam.
You can expect it to take 12 to 18 months to complete the program.
Types Of Tax Preparation Courses
There are several types of IRS approved tax preparation courses you could take, including these top options:
- The basics of tax preparation: These courses tend to cover the basics of tax preparation, from a high-level standpoint. Theyâre targeted for newcomers, but can be taken by anybody. By the end of the course, you should learn how to prepare a tax return, the basics of tax law in the United States, and how you could improve an existing practice. These are ideal if youâre looking for something general and somewhat comprehensive.
- Tax refreshers and new changes: If youâve been preparing tax returns for a long time, or if youâre otherwise experienced in the field of accounting, you could also take a course specialized for established tax preparers. Each year in the United States, there are typically new changes that affect how you need to prepare tax returns. If you havenât practiced in a while, you may need a refresher on the basics. Thatâs why some courses focus on issuing reminders for how tax preparation works, as well as providing information on new tax changes that accountants need to understand. These are ideal for continuing education purposes, and for accountants who have been out of practice for a while.