Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses. A Tax Preparer is a qualified professional who assists clients to file their income tax returns. They meet with clients during the tax preparation process to review financial records, complete all tax forms, and ensure that completed forms follow legislation and regulations.

  • Use all appropriate adjustments, deductions, and credits to keep clients' taxes to a minimum.
  • Compute taxes owed or overpaid, using adding machines or personal computers, and complete entries on forms, following tax form instructions and tax tables.
  • Interview clients to obtain additional information on taxable income and deductible expenses and allowances.
  • Review financial records, such as income statements and documentation of expenditures to determine forms needed to prepare tax returns.
  • Prepare or assist in preparing simple to complex tax returns for individuals or small businesses.
  • Check data input or verify totals on forms prepared by others to detect errors in arithmetic, data entry, or procedures.
  • Furnish taxpayers with sufficient information and advice to ensure correct tax form completion.
  • Consult tax law handbooks or bulletins to determine procedures for preparation of atypical returns.
  • Explain federal and state tax laws to individuals and companies.
  • Answer questions and provide future tax planning to clients.
  • Calculate form preparation fees according to return complexity and processing time required.
  • Schedule appointments with clients.
Work Context
  • Spend Time Sitting — 82% responded "Continually or almost continually".
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 78% responded "Extremely important".
  • Telephone — 69% responded "Every day".
  • Electronic Mail — 64% responded "Every day".
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 58% responded "Every day".
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 60% responded "Extremely important".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 78% responded "Every day".
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Work Activities
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Develop financial plans for clients.
  • Correspond with customers to answer questions or resolve complaints.
  • Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
  • Schedule appointments.
  • Calculate tax information.
  • Calculate tax information.
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Knowledge

Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Economics and Accounting
  • Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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Skills

Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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Abilities

Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Data base user interface and query software
  • Microsoft Access Hot Technology
  • Sage 50 Accounting
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
  • Thomson GoSystem MyTaxInfo
Accounting software
  • Intuit QuickBooks Hot Technology
  • M8 Client Billing
  • Tax software
  • ATX Total Accounting Office
  • Intuit Quicken
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Education

High School Diploma or
Bachelor's Degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Job Outlook

New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
Salary
$44,300
$22,090
$93,540