A tax job is a great way to earn some much-needed extra money. Many tax preparation companies hire extra workers during the tax prep season, which typically runs from January through May. Some of these seasonal jobs may even lead to permanent jobs beyond April 15th. The first step is to know what to expect and what you need to get the job.
The amount of experience you need for a tax job depends on what the job entails. If you are going to be helping people fill out their tax forms, you’ll need some experience in accounting or income tax preparation. Administrative positions such as data entry don’t require any tax experience. Although, some clerical skills help. The more experience you have, especially in accounting, the better your odds of transitioning into other financial positions once tax season winds down.
Tax Prep Courses
Some tax prep companies prefer experience, while others provide general training. It really depends on how much help they need. Keep in mind that if you are competing for a position with someone who has tax experience, they are likely to get the job over you. One way to give yourself an edge is to take a tax prep course on your own.
Many courses can be found online and aren’t that expensive. Investing a little time and money to take such courses now just might make you a more desirable applicant when tax season rolls around. It should be noted that you can find some free tax courses too, but you want to make sure the class is reputable. Some community colleges also offer tax courses.
Where to Find Tax Jobs
Employment isn’t guaranteed just because you apply. However, any skills such as recent tax prep training that set you apart from the crowd increase your odds of landing the position. Places to look for tax jobs include:
1. Tax Offices
Many tax offices hire seasonal tax employees. Even if you have worked in tax prep before, you may still be asked to take a proficiency test to confirm your skills. If you pass, you won’t have to go through any training. H&R Block refers to this as a Tax Knowledge Assessment test, but the same general concept applies. The most common tax prep companies include:
• Jackson Hewitt
• H&R Block
• Liberty Tax
2. Online Tax Prep Companies
Many online tax preparation companies seek tax advisors to provide live help for individuals filing online. With more than 100 million people filing taxes online, tax consultants are more in demand than ever. Common companies hiring online include TurboTax and TaxACT. Some of the walk-in services also hire workers to assist online filers.
The Internal Revenue Service also hires temporary employees for positions including:
• Data transcribers
• Tax examiners
• Contact representatives
Do a little research and see what the specific requirements are for each job before you apply for a tax job. Even if you don’t get the first job you apply for, taking the initiative to take some tax prep or accounting courses can be beneficial if you are looking for more than just seasonal employment.