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Tax Preparers
SOC Code: 13-2082.00

Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses.

Sample of reported job titles: Certified Income Tax Preparer (CTP), Corporate Tax Preparer, Enrolled Agent, Income Tax Preparer, Master Tax Advisor, Tax Advisor, Tax Associate, Tax Consultant, Tax Preparer, Tax Specialist

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Answer questions and provide future tax planning to clients.
  • Review financial records such as income statements and documentation of expenditures to determine forms needed to prepare tax returns.
  • Explain federal and state tax laws to individuals and companies.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - ATX Total Accounting Office; Intuit QuickBooks ; M8 Client Billing; Tax software (see all 5 examples)
  • Calendar and scheduling software - ScheduleVIEW
  • Data base user interface and query software - Microsoft Access ; Sage 50 Accounting
  • Document management software - Laserfiche Avante
  • Electronic mail software - Email software; Microsoft Outlook
  • Financial analysis software - Datair Employee Benefits Systems; Sales Tax Tools Sales Tax Researcher; Sungard Relius; Sync Essentials Trade Accountant (see all 5 examples)
  • Human resources software - Greatland Corporation Winfiler
  • Internet browser software - Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Project management software - ACI TaskTracker
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel ; Thomson GoSystem MyTaxInfo
  • Tax preparation software - ATX Total Tax Office; CCH ProSystem fx TAX; Creative Solutions UltraTax CS; Petz Enterprises V-Tax (see all 16 examples)
  • Web page creation and editing software
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Desktop calculator - 10-key calculators
  • Desktop computers
  • Notebook computers

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Interests

  • Interest code: CE
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Context

  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 85% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Telephone - 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Electronic Mail - 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 60% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 55% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 45% responded “Important results.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 40% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 50% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 40% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work Schedules - 65% responded “Seasonal (only during certain times of the year).”
  • Time Pressure - 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Letters and Memos - 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Level of Competition - 50% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Physical Proximity - 55% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Consequence of Error - 30% responded “Serious.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 40% responded “Never.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
30%High school diploma or equivalent
25%Associate's degree
20%Bachelor's degree

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values

  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $18.62 hourly, $38,730 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 96,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 11,500

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