Hiring a Tax Preparer: Job Description, Pay, and More

image of tax preparer working on tax documents

Tax preparers make it possible for individuals and businesses to efficiently and accurately file their taxes. For simple returns, seasonal preparers can be a cost-effective option, but more complex situations may require ongoing support and tax guidance from professionals like a CPA or enrolled agent.

Despite the seasonal nature of their work, many tax preparers hone their skills year-round through continuing education and stay updated on ever-changing tax laws, ensuring their clients receive the most accurate and efficient service.

Keep reading for tips on creating an informative job description and other specifications to keep in mind when selecting the best tax professional for your organization.

Tax Preparer Job Description

Before starting on the job description, explore some of the core duties and requirements of a tax preparer. Their responsibilities may vary based on the scope of their work, but most have the same role of submitting tax information for clients or employers. Day-to-day duties of these professionals can look like:

  • Consulting with clients to learn about their financial situation and understand their tax needs
  • Calculating taxes owed based on W2s, 1099s, and other income tax forms
  • Looking for potential deductions to reduce the client’s tax obligation
  • Collecting and reviewing tax returns from previous years to uncover any outstanding tax liabilities
  • Fact-checking information from clients to ensure they’re submitting accurate financial details
  • Presenting completed returns to clients and explaining the outcome
  • Filing reports by the deadline

Along with filing tax returns, many tax preparers also advise their clients on how to plan out their finances for the upcoming year to maximize their next return. A win win!

Related: Hiring Temporary Accounting Support for Tax Season

Education and Experience

Some employers may prefer candidates with an education or certification in accounting and tax management, but many will also accept 1-2 years of experience in areas like administration, customer service, or bookkeeping. For more complex tax cases, a bachelor’s degree in accounting (or another related field) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification may be required.

Key Skills for Tax Preparers

Tax preparers leverage their knowledge of tax law, math skills, and interpersonal skills daily to gather information from clients and complete their tax forms. When hiring, look out for the following skills:

  • Attention to detail: to avoid tax liabilities, it’s beneficial for tax preparers to navigate the complexities of tax codes with an eye for detail and accuracy
  • Time management: it’s essential for tax preparers to balance their time effectively and remain on schedule when meeting deadlines
  • Mathematics: calculating tax obligations is a large (and important) part of this professional’s role and involves plugging client information into IRS worksheets and completing calculations
  • Verbal and written communication: a key part of a tax preparer’s role is to ask the necessary questions and correctly understand the information provided by their clients
  • Proficiency in tax law: tax preparers should have an in-depth understanding of IRS rules and how they apply in various financial situations

Additional skills to consider:

  • Collaboration
  • Customer service
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking

To assess these skills, it’s important to ask the right tax preparer interview questions. (Luckily we have an entire second post on that!)

Save your time, skip the search. Hire a certified public accountant with Insight Global today.


According to Glassdoor, the average pay for a tax preparer in the United States is around $47,000 per year, but can vary based on education, experience, location, and certifications. To attract and retain qualified tax preparers, consider the average salaries of these professionals in your area.

Hiring a Qualified Tax Preparer

We understand how crucial it is for you to have qualified tax professionals in your organization during tax season. Whether you need a team of expert tax advisors or a single in-house tax manager, we can help you hire the right people for the role. Our team of experts are trained to source and interview quality candidates for you with ease. Connect with us today to get started!

Hiring a CPA?

Reach out to Insight Global today. We can find you qualified candidates in as little as 48 hours! Questions? Call us toll-free: 855-485-8853