How to be a part-time tax preparer

Are you looking for an opportunity to work from home and have flexible hours? With a part-time tax preparer program, you can be your own boss!

Whether you’re looking to work part time throughout the year or full time for a few months during the busy season, tax preparation can be very flexible and rewarding work. These 4 steps will help you consider your options and decide if being a part-time tax preparer is right for you. 

What does a part-time tax preparer do?

Part-time tax preparers provide several tax services to our customers here at Intuit. You’ll be responsible for preparing and filing accurate returns, and you may also have the opportunity to provide Intuit customers with future tax planning advice.  

You could also fill the role of a 1:1 tax expert. In this scenario, you wouldn’t help customers with their formal returns, but you’d be available via online chat to answer any tax-filing questions.

What are the benefits of being a part-time tax preparer? 

There are so many good reasons to take on the role of a part-time tax preparer. Knowing what’s most important to you will help you choose the right direction. Here are some of the benefits that people appreciate most about part-time tax prep work: 

  • Earn extra income. Adding money to your monthly budget is compelling motivation! Especially if you can do it without taking on a full-time commitment. 
  • Work remotely. The benefits of working online, whether from home or elsewhere, are much more familiar these days. You may be looking to avoid a long commute. You may want to maintain steady work but remain free to move or travel. Working from home may be better for your health. Being “location independent” is a great draw for many. 
  • Choose a schedule that works for you. Part-time hours often fit better around other commitments, whether that’s parenting, caregiving, volunteering, schooling, personal projects, or professional pursuits. 
  • Develop your expertise. Tax preparation is a dynamic and wide-ranging practice, and there’s always more to learn. Those at the beginning of their careers can gain valuable knowledge and gain the necessary skills to interact with clients successfully. 
  • Use your experience to help others. If you’re winding down your career or already retired, part-time tax prep can be an excellent way to stay busy, while also using your experience and skills to serve clients and colleagues. 

What training and experience do I need to be a tax preparer? 

If you’ve never done tax prep before, you can take a training course on the basics of how to become a part- or full-time tax preparer. In the U.S., you also need to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). 

From there, you can learn as you work, either doing volunteer tax prep through nonprofit tax assistance initiatives to gain experience or earning as you go by charging clients or landing a paid position. Different states, as well as the IRS, have different regulations for paid tax preparers, so check your local area requirements. 

At Intuit, we require our Tax Associates to have at least 2 seasons of paid tax preparation experience, however, we also take volunteer experience into account. 

At some point, you may want to earn your Enrolled Agent (EA) credential, which qualifies you for more advanced positions. You shouldn’t need additional credentials if you are already a current Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or practicing tax attorney. 

How to find the right part-time tax preparation role 

If you’re interested in a part-time tax preparer role, the next step is to apply to an organization that fits your needs and values. You can choose to branch out on your own or work with a company. Signing on with a larger tax company like Intuit allows you to focus on the tax work itself. You’ll also be able to rely on the support of a world-class team of passionate experts if you encounter any bumps in the road. 

Intuit has been recognized as a top global employer, earning a spot as #11 on the list of Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2021. Intuit has been commended as being particularly supportive of women and parents, and the company is also named as one of America’s best employers for diversity by Forbes. 

If seasonal work for Intuit at TurboTax Live interests you, sign up for the Talent Community to learn more. Intuit has opportunities in both the U.S. and Canada and is always looking for bilingual candidates in Spanish (in the U.S.) or French (in Canada). If you have the qualifications and are ready to apply, let’s talk! You can schedule a call today.