An image of a person filling out tax paperwork
Accounting: Tax Preparers (SOC CODE: 13-2082.00)

Job Description Overview

Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses.

Related Careers

  • Tax Preparers
  • Accountants
  • Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents
  • Medical Equipment Preparers
  • Production Workers, All Other
  • Auditors
  • Assessors
  • Lawyers
  • Food Preparation Workers
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

Sample Job Duties

  • Interview clients to obtain additional information on taxable income and deductible expenses and allowances.
  • Use all appropriate adjustments, deductions, and credits to keep clients' taxes to a minimum.
  • Prepare or assist in preparing simple to complex tax returns for individuals or small businesses.
  • Compute taxes owed or overpaid, using adding machines or personal computers, and complete entries on forms, following tax form instructions and tax tables.
  • Furnish taxpayers with sufficient information and advice to ensure correct tax form completion.
  • Check data input or verify totals on forms prepared by others to detect errors in arithmetic, data entry, or procedures.
  • Consult tax law handbooks or bulletins to determine procedures for preparation of atypical returns.
  • Calculate form preparation fees according to return complexity and processing time required.
  • Explain federal and state tax laws to individuals and companies.
  • Review financial records such as income statements and documentation of expenditures to determine forms needed to prepare tax returns.

    What Classes Do I Need to Take?

    • Accounting: AS Degree

      Business Division
      Degree S0502

      The Accounting Program provides many opportunities for students to design a plan for their individual goals through certificate and degree achievements. The associate degree in accounting is intended to prepare students for employment following graduation. The student will learn basic accounting skills combined with an in-depth training in a variety of accounting concepts, preparing the student for entry-level positions, professional advancement in their current job or transfer to a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

      Earning an Accounting Associate of Science degree will provide the knowledge and skills necessary for accounting jobs in general accounting, cost accounting, payroll, inventory management, asset management, accounts receivable, accounts payable, budgets and forecasting, financial analysis, etc. Students who wish to transfer and obtain a bachelor’s degree should consult with a counselor or advisor to discuss transferability of courses.

      This degree requires the completion of General Education coursework plus the following:

      Required Courses

      Course PrefixCourse NameUnits
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      BUSA 8Principles of Accounting - Managerial5
      BUSA 21Cost Accounting3-4.5
      or BUSA 58 Federal Income Tax Law
      BUSA 52Intermediate Accounting3
      BUSA 75Using Microcomputers in Financial Accounting1
      BUSA 76Using Microcomputers in Managerial Accounting1
      BUSM 20Principles of Business3
      Total Units21-22.5

      Accounting Website

    • Accounting: Certificate

      Business Division
      Certificate L0374
      The Accounting Certificate provides basic accounting skills combined with in-depth training in a variety of accounting concepts, preparing the student for entry-level positions and/or professional advancement in a wide selection of accounting jobs. These jobs include general accounting, cost accounting, payroll, inventory management, asset management, accounts receivable, accounts payable, budgets and forecast, financial analysis, etc.

      Required Courses

      Course PrefixCourse NameUnits
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      BUSA 8Principles of Accounting - Managerial5
      BUSA 21Cost Accounting3-4.5
      or BUSA 58 Federal Income Tax Law
      BUSA 52Intermediate Accounting3
      BUSA 75Using Microcomputers in Financial Accounting1
      BUSA 76Using Microcomputers in Managerial Accounting1
      BUSM 20Principles of Business3
      Total Units21-22.5

      Accounting Website

    • Accounting: Bookkeeping

      Business Division
      Certificate E0504

      The Accounting - Bookkeeping Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge, preparing the student for entry-level positions as an accounting clerk in areas such as bookkeeping, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory tracing/reporting, bank reconciliation, expense reporting, and account analysis.

      Required Courses

      Course PrefixCourse NameUnits
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      or BUSA 72 Bookkeeping - Accounting
      BUSA 75Using Microcomputers in Financial Accounting1
      BUSA 76Using Microcomputers in Managerial Accounting1-3
      or BUSA 68 Business Mathematics
      Total Units7-9

      Accounting Website

    • Accounting: Computerized

      Business Division
      Certificate L0503

      The Accounting - Computerized Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge combined with additional training in computer applications common to the accounting industry. This certificate program prepares the student for an entry-level position as an accounting clerk that requires computer skills in areas such as utilization of accounting software, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory tracing/reporting, bank reconciliation, expense reporting and account analysis.

      Required Courses

      Course PrefixCourse NameUnits
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      or BUSA 72 Bookkeeping - Accounting
      BUSA 75Using Microcomputers in Financial Accounting1
      BUSA 76Using Microcomputers in Managerial Accounting1-3
      or BUSA 68 Business Mathematics
      CISB 15Microcomputer Applications3.5
      Choose a minimum of 7.5 units from the following:7.5
      CISB 11
      Computer Information Systems
      CISB 16
      Macintosh Applications
      CISB 21
      Microsoft Excel
      CISB 31
      Microsoft Word
      CISB 51
      Microsoft PowerPoint
      CISD 11
      & 11L
      Database Management - Microsoft Access
      and Database Management - Microsoft Access Laboratory
      CISS 11
      Practical Computer Security
      Total Units18-20

      Accounting Website

    • Accounting: Financial Planning

      Business Division
      Certificate L0599

      The Accounting - Financial Planning Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge combined with specialized training in financial planning, preparing the student for entry-level positions and/or professional advancement in their current accounting jobs. Students completing this certificate will be able to assist companies within the areas of budget analysis, tax reporting, financial and investment planning and analysis.

      Required Courses

      Course PrefixCourse NameUnits
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      BUSA 8Principles of Accounting - Managerial5
      BUSA 58Federal Income Tax Law3
      BUSA 71Personal Financial Planning3
      BUSA 75Using Microcomputers in Financial Accounting1
      BUSA 76Using Microcomputers in Managerial Accounting1
      Total Units18

      Accounting Website

    • Accounting: Managerial

      Business Division
      Certificate L0533

      The Accounting - Managerial Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge combined with specialized training in managerial accounting, preparing the student for entry-level positions in accounting and/or professional advancement in their current accounting jobs. Students completing this certificate will be able to perform duties in the areas of cost analysis, variance analysis, budget preparation, expense reporting, account analysis, and preparation of various internal reports to assist management in their decision making.

      Required Courses

      Course PrefixCourse NameUnits
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      BUSA 8Principles of Accounting - Managerial5
      BUSA 21Cost Accounting4.5
      BUSA 52Intermediate Accounting3
      or BUSA 58 Federal Income Tax Law
      BUSA 76Using Microcomputers in Managerial Accounting1
      Total Units18.5

      Accounting Website

    • Accounting: Payroll

      Business Division
      Certificate E0505

      The Accounting - Payroll Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge combined with specialized training in payroll, preparing the student for entry-level clerical positions within the payroll segment of accounting. Common duties performed include payroll tax reporting, payroll accounting systems maintenance, and posting payroll transactions to journals/ledgers.

      Required Courses

      Course PrefixCourse NameUnits
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      or BUSA 72 Bookkeeping - Accounting
      BUSA 70Payroll and Tax Accounting3
      BUSA 75Using Microcomputers in Financial Accounting1
      BUSA 76Using Microcomputers in Managerial Accounting1-3
      or BUSA 68 Business Mathematics
      Total Units10-12

      Accounting Website

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