How to Become an Alabama Certified Tax Preparer

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When February rolls around, it's tax time once again. People begin scrambling to gather all tax documents and W-2s, and possibly to find a tax preparer. It's a little-known fact that anyone can be a tax preparer in many states and that includes Alabama. Anyone can independently prepare taxes, but to work for a company you may have specific requirements to be certified for that particular company.

  • Prepare taxes as soon as you feel confident. If you want to prepare taxes independently, you can begin doing so. If you decide you would like to prepare taxes for a company you will need to adhere to that company's guidelines. For example, if you decide you want to be a tax preparer for H&R Block, you would need to follow their specific guidelines.

  • Take tax preparation courses, financial courses and accounting courses. If you have decided to work for a company they will provide you with tax preparation courses. These courses are often offered in a classroom setting. Companies such as H&R Block also offer online training courses. If you want to prepare taxes independently it is advisable to take as many courses relating to tax preparation as needed to confidently prepare. Enroll in classes at a junior or community college in Alabama. Take classes related specifically to tax preparation in Alabama. An example would be a class in "Education Tax Credits and Deductions in Alabama."

  • Know the Internet and the process of filing documents electronically. Many times clients will want you to prepare taxes and file electronically, since this ensures they will get their refund sooner. The IRS website is very user-friendly and will walk you through this process if you need help.

  • Take the basic IRS Certification exam. If you want to work for a company, this is important to take and pass. If you want to prepare taxes for people independently, passing this test would increase the confidence of everyone involved.

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