Online Tax Preparation Courses and Certification Programs

Find out what you'd learn in online tax preparation courses. Get information on certification options for tax professionals, and read about online training courses for pursuing these credentials. Discover how online courses and programs work, and learn how to choose a tax preparation course that's appropriate for your career goals. Schools offering Accounting - Taxation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Tax preparation courses can get you ready to complete the certification exams required to work professionally in this industry. You can find instruction on helping both individuals and businesses with their taxes at several educational levels. While much of your work can be completed online, you may also be able to find internships to bolster your education.

Courses Courses teach reporting and calculating income, preparing tax returns for individuals, small businesses and corporations, classification of deductions, calculations of gains and losses and understanding the federal tax deposit system
Programs Diplomas, certificates, training, development and continuing education options are available
Certification You can become certified as a Chartered Tax Professional or an Enrolled Agent

What Will I Learn in Online Tax Preparation Courses?

You'll learn the ins and outs of tax preparation, from reporting and calculating income to preparing tax returns for individuals, small businesses and corporations. You'll also learn how to classify deductions, calculate gains and losses and understand the federal tax deposit system. Classes you may expect to take may include:

  • Income: This course may cover the various types of income and how to report income to the IRS
  • Tax Calculation: Covered may be the final steps of tax preparation, how to file a return, tax credits and the auditing process
  • Deductions: This course goes over what constitutes legal deductions, the differences between itemized and nonitemized deductions and job, travel and personal exemptions.
  • Estate and Gift Taxation: A look at laws and statues concerning taxation and estates, as well as inheritance issues and how to plan gifting and property transfers at death are discussed.

How Do I Choose the Program That's Right for Me?

Online tax preparation training options include certificates, career diplomas, workforce training, professional development and continuing education seminars. Some programs can be found within college accounting departments. Here is a short list of online programs that offer tax preparer courses:

  • Ashworth College (Norcross, Georgia) has an online career diploma program in tax preparation that also prepares students for the National Bookkeepers Associations' tax certification exam.
  • Chemeketa Community College (Salem, Oregon) offers an online program for a tax preparation certificate.
  • New York Institute of Career Development (New York, New York) offers an online program including the cost of the NBA tax certification exam.
  • IRS Tax Volunteers (Nationwide and Online) is a training program designed for tax preparer volunteers.
  • Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester, New Hampshire) provides a more advanced option for the tax preparer. This program offers more in-depth courses about taxation planning, practice and law.

You can choose a program based on your current career status. For example, if you are a practicing tax professional and are looking to earn certification, you may enroll in the CTP program. You can also choose CTP programs designed for the state in which you live. For example, California requires its own supplement to the national CTP test.

If you want to become a tax preparer, you can pursue several different certifications, or you may take tax accounting courses through a college-level program. For instance, tax preparation certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs are available; classes are typically offered through a school's accounting department. There are also advanced programs available at the master's degree level that prepare students for tax auditor, analyst or director careers.

How Do I Access Online Courses and What Will I Learn?

For some programs, you may need to visit a local community college website and sign up for the online courses. Some community colleges, such as those in the state of Virginia, have a partnership with private career schools that offer online courses in tax preparation. These private career schools set the national standard for tax preparation training and publish textbooks and guides for colleges, career schools and firms that provide in-house training.

As for materials, some schools provide study guides, lesson books and supplemental readings. Other programs provide downloadable course materials and open book exams.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
      • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

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    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Golden Gate University - Aspire

    Golden Gate University - Aspire responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Golden Gate University - Aspire:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
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    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Florida Tech

    Florida Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Bachelor Degrees
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  • Northcentral University

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