6 Benefits of Being a Tax Preparer

On the surface, tax preparation may seem like a career that’s only for people who love crunching numbers and learning tax laws. In reality, tax preparation offers some of the most sought-after career features of the modern workforce: flexibility, remote work options, the chance to work for yourself, and a high income potential. On top of that, tax preparation is a surprisingly interpersonal business. While there is some number crunching, there’s just as much opportunity to build meaningful relationships with your clients as you help them navigate their taxes. If you haven’t considered a career in tax preparation before, here are six surprising reasons why it might be the right fit for you.

Tax Preparers Have Schedule Flexibility

One of the most appealing aspects of a career as a tax preparer is the flexibility it offers in terms of working hours. While it’s true that tax season often comes with long hours, the other nine months of the year offer a much more relaxed schedule, letting you set your own hours and pursue your interests. Many tax preparers also use this time to focus on marketing and planning or offer services like financial advising or bookkeeping to their tax clients. 

With advancements in tax preparation software, even tax season is far more flexible than it used to be. Some of the latest tax software solutions allow clients to securely upload their tax documents through a secure app, and their information is automatically entered into your tax preparation software, drastically reducing the time it takes to prepare and file a return. 

Tax Preparers Have High Income Potential

Even with the flexibility of the off-season, tax preparers usually earn a comfortable living, especially as they gain experience and build a client base. Clients are willing to pay high rates for tax preparers who can help them legally minimize their tax bill and maximize their refund amount. This is especially true for clients with complex tax situations such as high-income earners and small business owners. 

As a result, tax preparers can charge fees based on the complexity of the tax returns they handle, allowing them to set rates that reflect their expertise and increase earnings throughout their career.

Tax Preparers Can Help People Through Stressful Filing Situations

While most people think “number-crunching,” when they think of tax preparation, the career also offers you the chance to develop meaningful relationships as you help clients through the stress of filing. When navigating through tax laws and regulations feels overwhelming, clients are thankful for the expertise and advice of a competent tax preparer. 

As a tax pro, you can provide your clients with peace of mind and, even more importantly, help them by reducing their overall tax burden. 

Tax Preparers Can Work Remotely

In addition to letting the taxpayers upload their documents remotely, recent advancements in tax prep software open the door to remote work for tax preparers.  With cloud-based tax software and secure communication tools, tax preparers can now collaborate with clients and complete tax returns without being confined to a traditional office space. 

This remote work option is essential if you value location independence, whether that means working from home a few days a week or running an entirely virtual tax practice.

Tax Preparation Can Be Part Time

Even some extremely successful tax preparers only pursue it as a part-time venture, allowing them to maintain other professional pursuits or personal interests. This versatility makes tax preparation an ideal choice for gig economy workers, retirees, or anyone looking to supplement their income without committing to a full-time schedule.

Because of the seasonality of tax preparation, some tax preparers commit to a full-time schedule during tax season, earn a significant income in just a few months, and then enjoy the flexibility of the off-season.

Tax Preparers Can Be Their Own Boss

Becoming a tax preparer offers the opportunity to be your own boss – without needing years of formal education or experience. Being an independent tax preparer gives you the freedom to set your own rates and income potential, choose the tax niche you want to specialize in, and determine your working hours. 

While some new tax preparers prefer to gain experience as employees before striking out on their own, many dive straight into starting successful practices.

Becoming an Enrolled Agent

The process to become an Enrolled Agent, one of the most sought-after credentials in the industry, can take anywhere from several months to over a year, considering the time for eligibility verification, exam preparation, application processing, and potential exam retakes.

Becoming an EA encompasses several crucial steps, each demanding careful attention and varying time commitments:

  1. Eligibility Check: Initially, candidates must verify they meet the eligibility requirements, which may involve gathering and submitting relevant documentation. This preliminary step’s duration can vary based on the individual’s prior experience and the specifics of their situation.
  2. Studying for the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE): Preparation for the SEE is highly individualized. Some candidates might immerse themselves in intensive study for a few months, while others might extend their preparation over a longer period. The time required significantly depends on one’s prior knowledge of tax law and their available study time.
  3. Passing the SEE: The SEE is administered in three parts, and the time to complete it depends on the candidate’s ability to pass each part on their first attempt. Success across all three parts could span several months, contingent upon the testing schedule and the candidate’s preparedness.
  4. Applying for Enrollment: After successfully passing the SEE, candidates must apply for enrollment through IRS Form 23. The processing time for this application can extend a few weeks, influenced by the current workload of the IRS.

The role of an EA is vital as it includes the authority to represent taxpayers before the IRS, highlighting the necessity of accurately understanding and communicating the credential’s value and the responsibilities it entails.


Becoming a tax preparer means so much more than crunching numbers and deciphering tax laws. The profession offers a unique blend of income potential, schedule flexibility, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on your clients’ lives and finances. Whether you’re looking for a full-time career, a side hustle, or the chance to be your own boss, tax preparation could be your path to a satisfying and successful career.