How Do I Become a Certified Tax Professional?

Tax Professional

A tax professional is someone with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and financial experience to help you with your tax return. Generally, a tax professional works with individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, nonprofits, joint ventures, and even the UK tax authorities. A tax professional keeps up to date with changes to tax rules, regulations, and laws, which have a large impact on the way you get back or owe income tax and can change each year. As such, he or she must know all the ins and outs of the tax system.

Certified Public Accountant

If you’re a tax professional, you probably deal with both individuals and businesses. You may also be a certified public accountant, CPA, or enrolled agent. There are other professions that fall under the category of “Certified tax professional,” but not all of them. If you have accounting, marketing, or online business knowledge and experience, you may be a suitable candidate to become a tax preparer. Many tax professionals work for a variety of tax preparation and audit services. Certified Public Accountants (CPA) provides federal tax education and certification for CPAs. CPAs can also offer their own tax education and CPA training. Enrolled Agents (EA’s) represent the interests of taxpayers and act as their agents in federal tax matters.

Tax Professional

Tax Return 

So what’s the difference between a tax professional and an e-file tax return preparer? The main difference is in education. An e-file tax preparer does not have any education beyond what he or she earned through online courses or E-Learning. On the other hand, a tax has received both general tax education and training as a registered tax agent. E-file specialists do not have education beyond what they earned from online courses; however, they may be required to take further education if they want to be employed as an e-file tax return preparer.


Taxpayers that choose to use a tax preparation software program will be able to file their federal and state taxes using the program. E-file specialists must still obtain their own tax returns and send them to the tax preparation businesses. Taxpayers must still mail in their federal and state income taxes. Taxpayers may have the option to use a tax preparation company or service.

Accounting Firms for Tax Professional

There are a number of accounting firms that specialize in filing federal and state income taxes. Taxpayers may choose to go with a large firm or a smaller one. Large firms generally hire accounting graduates with years of experience in tax preparation. Smaller accounting firms hire individuals that have just finished accounting college and are looking for jobs. Most small firms only employ individuals that are knowledgeable in tax preparation.

Certified Tax Professional

National Association of Accountants 

Individuals can be assured that they are working with a good tax accountant. A tax Accountant that is enrolled in the National Association of Accountants (NAA) is a good start. The National Association of Accountants requires that accountants are members. Enrolled agents will need to pass an exam before becoming certified. A tax pro with a membership in the NAA is a good start. A tax professional that is not a member of the NAA is not necessarily a poor choice.

Professional Tax Accountants

Certified public accountants (CPAs) are licensed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. CPAs must attend a six-month CPA exam, pass a background check, and take part in CPA continuing education credits. CPAs are required to complete six months of on-the-job training after getting their initial license. The tax returns of accountants who pass the six-month exam and pass the background check are great assets.

Tax Services

Tax preparation is part of what CPAs do. However, accountants have more training and experience than most other professionals because they deal with people on a daily basis. Accountants with certification from CPA organizations are preferred over CPAs. CPAs can get by with a certification, however, many accountants choose to become certified public accountants to ensure future opportunities. Certified public accountants (CPAs) provide better tax services because they understand how complicated tax returns can be and how they impact a business’s bottom line.

 Tax Professional

Professional Accountants

When CPAs choose to become certified, they become eligible for state tax assistance. This is especially helpful for small businesses. With the help of CPA schools, CPAs can get certified in one state, move to another state, and continue to practice their profession while getting trained to prepare tax returns in the new state. For many accountants, this makes it easier to get mortgage loans, real estate loans, and other financings they need to expand or operate a business. Most accountants who have been CPAs for many years choose to become enrolled agents because enrolled agents have a lot less education than CPAs who have become certified.


Enrolling in CPA continuing education programs allows CPAs to expand their knowledge about business taxes and accounting Firms’ practices. They also will learn about new software and accounting systems that are available to help CPAs manage their accounting processes. When CPAs learn new techniques or software, they can use it immediately instead of having to learn it later. There are also seminars available through most CPA organizations where CPAs can network with other practitioners. Becoming an enrolled agent gives CPAs access to a variety of networking opportunities, and it can help them expand their business and increase their client base.