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Tax Preparer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Prepares tax returns for individuals or small businesses.

This career is part of the Business, Management and Administration cluster Business Finance and Accounting pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Uses all appropriate adjustments, deductions, and credits to keep clients' taxes to a minimum.
  • Interviews clients to obtain additional information on taxable income and deductible expenses and allowances.
  • Prepares or assists in preparing simple to complex tax returns for individuals or small businesses.
  • Computes taxes owed or overpaid, using adding machines or personal computers, and completes entries on forms, following tax form instructions and tax tables.
  • Furnishes taxpayers with sufficient information and advice to ensure correct tax form completion.
  • Checks data input or verifies totals on forms prepared by others to detect errors in arithmetic, data entry, or procedures.
  • Consults tax law handbooks or bulletins to determine procedures for preparation of atypical returns.
  • Calculates form preparation fees according to return complexity and processing time required.
  • Answers questions and provides future tax planning to clients.
  • Explains federal and state tax laws to individuals and companies.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Seasonal work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Accountant -- Analyzes financial information and prepares financial reports to determine or maintain record of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Tax Advisor -- Uses their knowledge of tax legislation to provide advisory and consultancy services to clients, ensuring that they pay their taxes in the most efficient way and benefit from any tax advantages and exemptions.
  • Tax Associate -- Applies business skills, accounting expertise and fiscal acumen to help a firm comply with federal, state and local tax regulations.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) --