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How to Become an Illinois Tax Preparer

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There are several options available to an individual who wishes to become an Illinois tax preparer. The following article advises how best to weigh those options and proceed with the decision.

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Become a general tax preparer. In this format, you may apply at one of the well-recognized national tax preparation organizations. The company will provide training for a reasonable charge, generally right around the $100 mark. Afterwards, you are ready to work as a qualified preparer within one of the national service's offices.

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Alternately, become an enrolled agent. Under this category you are expected to have 72 hours of tax training under your belt every three years. This training is made mandatory by the Internal Revenue Service, so you may maintain your professional designation. The individual seeking enrolled agent status must be able to pass a generalized test in order to meet the qualifications.

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Attain a CPA or certified public accountant designation, as the third way to become an Illinois tax preparer. The CPA attends five years of formal schooling in order to become credentialed. In addition to preparing taxes, he or she is qualified to render financial opinions and handle the full scope of accountancy functions within the business.

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Decide which of the above scenarios best serves your occupational purpose(s). Additionally, bear in mind that clients will choose the type of preparer that they believe best fits their tax return preparation requirements, in terms of qualifications.

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Obtain errors-and-omissions insurance if you intend to take your tax preparation services seriously. This action demonstrates to your clients that you are willing to maintain a professional level of responsibility for the work you perform. Should anything come up beyond your control, there is proper liability insurance in place to address the nature of the dispute.