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Although paying taxes is a chore that nobody is especially fond of, there is an ever growing opportunity for employment, as a tax preparer. As the world becomes ever busier, and everyone has to prepare their taxes, more and more people are using a professional service to do the heavy lifting for them, preferring to pay someone to do their taxes as opposed to doing it themselves.

The good news is that in California at least there is no legal requirement to be a qualified accountant, but there are still certain qualifications that people need to complete. Let’s have a look at some of the most common questions people ask.

1 What Qualification Do I Need To Be a Tax Preparer in California?

To be legally qualified to prepare taxes candidates must complete a CTEC 60-hour course via an approved educational center. The course must be CTEC approved, but it can be taken either in an educational establishment such as a college, as a study at home course, or by taking one of many CTEC online courses.

2 What Does CTEC Stand For?

CTEC stands for the California Tax Education Council, the agency in charge of authorizing the official course to become a Tax Preparer.

3 What Is A PTIN Number?

A PTIN number is an identification number that is individual to every qualified and practicing Tax Preparer. For any and all tax returns of refunds that go to the Inland Revenue Service, the Tax Preparer must add their PTIN number to the form. The reason that PTIN numbers are issued is so that the Tax preparer does not have to provide his social security number on every tax form he prepares.

4 Is There A Minimum Age Limit To Register For A PTIN Number?

Yes, the minimum age at which you can apply for a PTIN is 18 years of age. Unfortunately, you cannot become a paid tax preparer before your eighteenth birthday.

5 What Is The Difference Between a PTIN number and an EFIN?

Both of these numbers are generated and provided by the IRS. The PTIN is a number issued to registered Tax Preparers, who are being paid to complete people’s tax returns. There is no fee required to obtain a PTIN.

An EFIN (Electronic Filing Identification Number) is a number that is issued to individuals or firms who are authorized e-file providers. The two numbers have separate meanings, but in reality, the vast majority of tax preparers will have both numbers.

6 How Much Does A Tax Preparer Earn In California?

Across the country, different rates are charged by tax preparers. In California, the average Tax Preparer will receive approximately $18.22 per hour giving a yearly salary of anywhere between $24 – 36000 dollars.

Although it may not be the best paying job especially in the financial field, it does provide a stepping stone to other careers within finance, and also provides many people with an idea of whether or not a career in finance is suited to them.

Although there are other questions people ask about becoming a tax preparer, these six are far and away the most popular. For anyone who has just turned 18 and is considering going into the financial industry, our advice would be to complete their California tax preparer qualification as quickly as possible and then start to build and develop their business. Even if you decide not to remain in the Tax Preparer industry, you will have learned a valuable skill, which can be applied to many fields for the rest of your life. Good Luck and thanks for reading.