How to Become a Tax Preparer in Colorado

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Tax preparers weed through receipts to find additional deductions for clients.
Tax preparers weed through receipts to find additional deductions for clients. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Becoming a tax preparer can be an excellent way to make some extra money during tax season. Tax preparers need to be detail-oriented and have a good understanding of the various tax forms and laws, both federal and state. Although some states require a license to work as a tax preparer, tax preparers in Colorado do not need to obtain such licensing.

Obtain a high school diploma or a GED if you have not done so already. Although you do not have to be licensed to work as a tax preparer in Colorado, you need to meet minimum educational requirements. If you have yet to complete this requirement, you should take additional courses in math and basic business education. If your school offers courses in record-keeping or basic accounting, these can help you with your tax preparation training.

Attend tax preparation classes. These classes usually take about a week to complete and get you ready by teaching you the basics of completing the various tax forms. These classes are offered by various professional tax preparation companies. For instance, Liberty Tax Service in Denver has accelerated tax preparation courses that can lead to both part-time and full-time work with the company. Tax preparation courses are sometimes offered as basic and intermediate courses. More advanced aspects of the profession are generally reserved for professional accountants. The basic tax preparation course offered by Liberty Tax Service is free of charge. The only cost incurred comes from purchasing the textbook.

Complete specialized courses offered by the Colorado Department of Revenue. Completing basic and intermediate courses can get you started as a tax preparer, but these courses can also solidify your place in the tax preparation industry by giving you more specialized knowledge. The courses offered by the Department of Revenue are provided free of charge. These include studies in areas such as the hospitality industry, application of the use tax in Colorado, the manufacturing and contractor industries, non-profit and tax-exempt organizations, state withholding requirement basics for employers and employees, and taxation in the printing and advertising industries.

Seek jobs with tax preparation companies. Potential employers include Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, H&R Block and Liberty Tax Service.

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