Debunking 8 Myths of Professional Tax Preparation as a Career or a Job to Earn Extra Income

When you think of helping people prepare their taxes online, you probably have some preconceptions about what it’s like. And you may have rejected the idea because, for some, those preconceptions can paint a less than rosy picture. But unless you’ve done it yourself, or talked to people who do, you may not realize what

woman sitting at desk
woman sitting at desk

When you think of helping people prepare their taxes online, you probably have some preconceptions about what it’s like. And you may have rejected the idea because, for some, those preconceptions can paint a less than rosy picture. But unless you’ve done it yourself, or talked to people who do, you may not realize what it’s really like.

We want to dispel the myths so you can make a more informed decision about whether professional tax preparation online is the right choice for you. Let’s get debunking!

Myth #1: Online tax preparation is monotonous. You work on the same types of jobs over and over.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. TurboTax Live serves U.S. and Canadian citizens across North America, and those living overseas, who have all kinds of different tax situations and challenges. Traditional tax professionals who work locally “offline” will mainly draw clients from their city or state, but online you could prepare 40 returns from across the country and never run into the same scenario. Also, tax laws are always changing, which keeps you on your toes.

Myth #2: Tax prep is too complex. There are mountains of guidelines and regulations.

Interesting how this myth is the opposite of the first one! There is a lot to master, which is why TurboTax Live looks for tax professionals who have some experience under their belt. However, Intuit simplifies these regulations by providing documentation and powerful software that helps guide you through customer conversations.

Just as importantly, you also have a network of experts to call on at a moment’s notice. These professionals have a wide range of experience, so someone will no doubt have the answer or be able to help you find it. And the more customers you work with, the more you learn. We’re here to grow our skills and experience together.

Myth #3: Tax prep is only seasonal.

January to April is definitely the busy season for tax preparation. Many people find the seasonality a plus because it allows them to earn extra money with a part-time or occasional position and can help free up other times of year for different work or personal pursuits.

But at an organization like Intuit, there are opportunities for off-peak work. For example, TurboTax Live has tax professionals working in October when we see another surge of filings around the extension deadline. We also have a select number of year-round manager roles depending on business demands, and seasonal employees can apply for full-time roles at Intuit, such as Bookkeepers for QuickBooks Live.

Myth #4: There are few opportunities to grow your career or challenge yourself.

We’ve just mentioned a few growth opportunities at Intuit. Many of our Tax Associates who start without credentials go on to become Enrolled Agents, with their credential fees paid through our Intuit EA Credential Assistance Program. Credentialed Tax Experts are eligible to take on roles as Leads, Seasonal Managers, and Full-Time Managers with TurboTax Live.

We work hard to foster a learning environment, and many professionals come to us particularly so they can develop their tax expertise.

Myth #5: Online tax prep is limited to individual returns of less than $100K.

This is definitely not true at TurboTax Live. We work with people at all income levels, including individuals, families, investors, senior executives, and people who are self-employed.

Myth #6: Tax prep doesn’t contribute to the public good.

Tax prep plays a critical role in helping people fulfill their tax obligations — and gives them confidence that they are compliant, pay only what is due, and/or get the maximum refund they deserve.

On the individual level, our experts say they get great satisfaction from helping customers solve their filing problems and maximize their returns. Working with people one-on-one allows them to see the difference they’re making for those individuals. By providing online service, our team has assisted taxpayers who were otherwise displaced from their tax preparer during the pandemic.

We also understand that people want to find meaning in their work by making the world a better place. That’s why “We Care and Give Back” is one of the company’s core values.

On a corporate level, Intuit puts our organizational capability to use in service of local communities and corporate responsibility initiatives. Our latest Corporate Responsibility Report demonstrates what’s being done across the company to care for our employees, customers, and communities; to create jobs; and to hit our sustainability and climate goals.

Myth #7: There’s not much emphasis on diversity in the tax prep industry.

At Intuit, we’re committed to doing our part to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization and to provide leadership within our industry. We diligently and regularly measure and monitor our progress to make sure we stay focused on attracting, retaining, and developing a diverse workforce.

Diversity and inclusion aren’t just something we do — they’re an important part of who we are. Without them, we can’t achieve our mission of powering prosperity around the world. You can learn more about our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on the Intuit website.

Myth #8: Online tax prep is not prestigious work.

We don’t believe that the tax experts or customers who come back to us year after year feel this way. Our interactions with customers are more relational and empowering than transactional. Our goal is not only to answer their questions but also to provide confidence and peace of mind by teaching them about their tax situation. Explaining the “why” often leads to a greater understanding than just answering the question on the form.

Remote and online-only work might have been seen as unusual or less attractive before COVID-19, but it’s now much more mainstream across industries. Intuit has been ahead of the curve in creating a supportive and productive remote work environment that gives both our employees and customers a great online experience. The pandemic has only accelerated plans for digital transformation and remote work, and many industries now realize that it’s the future of business.

Additionally, Intuit believes in careers and career development, not just jobs. We provide opportunities for growth and development, and our team includes experienced Enrolled Agents, CPAs, and tax attorneys.

Hopefully, we’ve given you a clearer picture of what it’s like to work at TurboTax Live as a tax professional. If you’re interested in the opportunity, please join our Talent Community so you can learn more.

And when you’re ready to apply, the next step is to schedule a call. We look forward to speaking with you!