When people consider their financial or job situation, some look for side hustles that can augment their income. Others look for a new job or a new career path. One option that might have escaped your notice is jobs in finance.

While most people think of things like bankers and stockbrokers when they think of finance, there are other jobs available. One of those jobs is as a tax preparer.

Don’t panic! You can become a tax preparer without becoming a full-blown accountant. If an accounting degree isn’t a requirement, though, how do you become a tax preparer? Keep reading for some tips on starting your tax prep journey.


Yes, it’s true that you don’t need an accounting degree or any degree, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for some education. Preparing taxes means understanding taxes to some degree.

In most cases, that means understanding the big tax regulations that affect individual filers and what forms they need when filing their taxes. You can study up on your own, but that’s the path of most resistance.

A far easier and more direct path is a course that provides you with a Professional Tax Preparer™ certification. A good course will give you the essentials of individual and business tax forms. It’ll also provide you with training in how you determine adjusted gross income.

The best courses will even give you some foundations on opening your own business or getting a job as tax preparer.


All tax preparers offer federal tax preparation, in large part because the federal regulations remain constant in every state. It doesn’t matter where you train, because the forms and schedules remain the same. However, you will need a preparer tax identification number.

You apply for that with the IRS directly on their website. It’s a short form, fee, and most people get same-day approval. This lets you file paper forms with the IRS.

E-File Provider

If you work for someone else, you probably won’t need this. You’ll likely file under the business’s e-file provider certification. If you decide that you’ll launch your own business, though, you will want the e-file provider status.

It speeds up the process a lot and makes you more competitive with other tax prep services. You can find the application for this on the IRS website. The requirements are a little tougher, though.

Expect a credit and possibly a background check. Most applicants must also submit fingerprints to complete the application process.

Jobs in Finance? Become a Tax Preparer

Jobs in finance is not just code for banker or stockbroker. Finance jobs cover a lot of ground. One of the easiest jobs to break into without a degree is as a tax preparer. You can learn what you need to know from a tax preparer training course.

After that, you lock in your PTIN and e-file provider status approved. You’re ready for your own business or to work in someone else’s tax prep business.

Looking for more tips on jobs? Check out the posts in our Business section.