As per a 2019 report, nearly 80k tax preparers make a living interpreting the complex US tax code on behalf of taxpayers.
California leads as the US state with the highest employment level in tax preparers, at 7,050. But when you think about how to become a tax preparer in California, acquiring the correct skillset should be your first action item. In such a situation, the suggestion is to consult top experts offering highly resourceful CTEC courses.
They will help you develop the required expertise to become a CTEC Registered Tax Preparer. Here are some critical skills they suggest working on for a successful career as a tax preparer in California.
Keen Attention to Detail
In 2016, California collected nearly $1 billion as personal taxation from Palo Alto’s 94301 zip code. It indicates that the state’s top 1% of taxpayers paid about 46% of income tax for that year.
When handling the calculations for such massive taxes, you need to be accurate and careful enough to avoid errors. Even entering numbers with misplaced decimals can lead to messing up the entire tax return calculation. While mistakes like these will cost your customer money, they can create issues with the IRS and California taxation agencies.
Leading experts advise working on your capability to scrutinize your tasks to eliminate all potential errors thoroughly.
Expertise in Critical Thinking
While California is home to Fortune 500 companies, such as Apple and Wells Fargo, house cleaning services and catering count as top small business ideas to pursue here.
To be a tax preparer for such successful businesses, you have to use analytical reasoning to decide if the firm qualifies for credits and deductions. You should have the skills to categorize various incomes and losses to ensure your client does not have discrepancies in their final tax returns.
When specialists explain how to become a tax preparer in California, they guide you to make the right decision about the action to take, best suitable for your clients.
A Strong Hold on Mathematics
If you aspire to become a tax preparer for a fee in California, you need to complete a CTEC Approved 60 Hour Qualifying Education Tax Course. You will learn everything about how to prepare Federal and California tax returns.
But to pursue this course, you should be sound in mathematics. Experts suggest focusing more on fundamental arithmetic calculations. Also, you would need to work on the fundamentals of solving equations, as you sometimes might have to deal with complicated formulas.
Exceptional Communication Skills
Handling finance for a client is a sensitive issue, and they should feel confident about your competence and comfortable sharing their money matters with you.
Specialists suggest developing sound communication skills, such as active listening. You may also try improving your ability to break down complicated tax laws for your customers, which they typically expect from a responsible tax preparer.
Consult A Reputed Expert
Find a consultant who can help you learn these skills and complete the New Preparer Application with CTEC. You may then obtain a PTIN from the IRS and purchase a $5k Tax Preparer Bond, a legal requirement in California. Finally, you may register with CTEC, but within 18 months from completing the 60-hour qualifying education course, to become a highly reputed tax preparer.