,The Best Tax Preparation Courses for 2021

Best Tax Preparation Courses

Learn how to prepare taxes

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The best tax training publications are presented by means of professional groups, come with an low-cost price, and cover the subjects needed to fill your skill or expertise hole. We considered more than dozen tax preparation guides before making our pinnacle selections. Read on to study extra approximately the first-rate tax guidance courses.

The Best Tax Preparation Courses for 2021

Best Overall : Surgent Income Tax School

Surgent Income Tax School

Why We Chose It: Tax coaching courses are available for professionals at all know-how and enjoy degrees at an less costly value.

What We Like
  • Resources are to be had for starting and experienced tax professionals

  • Costs are low priced

  • Surgent has an great reputation

What We Don’t Like
  • Career offerings aren’t supplied

  • Can absorb to 18 months to complete the program

Surgent changed into based in 1985 and is a leading accounting, tax, and finance education company. The enterprise is widely known for its continuing expert education (CPE) and exam evaluation packages (e.g., Enrolled Agent and CPA exams). It also has an Income Tax School with extra than 40 online tax schooling programs presented nationally.

The Surgent Income Tax School gives expert tax practise publications for individuals in any respect profession stages, such as beginners and skilled tax specialists. This consists of short, 3-hour CPE seminars exact for tax professionals wanting to hold their certifications. It also includes complete schooling for novices with a high college training and no revel in who want to turn out to be tax experts. 

Costs vary relying at the guides, starting from a low of $29 for a CPE direction up to $1,497 for all five courses in its Chartered Tax Professional (CTP) software, overlaying novice to advanced tax principles. Upon CTP application final touch, you’ll have the expertise and experience essential to prepare for the Enrolled Agent examination. 

If you opt for the CTP software, you’ll complete the program online at your own pace with get right of entry to to instructor help thru e mail. You’ll get evaluate questions, quizzes, and other getting to know sports to finish, similarly to informative films. 

You can expect it to take 12 to 18 months to complete the program.

Best for Beginners : Federal Income Tax Course via the National Tax Training School

National Tax Training School

Why We Chose It: If you have at least a excessive school education, you could get the training you need to emerge as a tax preparer in a 12 months or much less from an accredited college.

What We Like
  • Only need a excessive faculty education

  • Support from a devoted mentor

  • School is accredited and has an amazing reputation

What We Don’t Like
  • Can take a yr to complete

  • No process placement assistance

  • Additional education is needed to become a licensed EA

The National Tax Training School turned into founded in 1952 and is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Its Federal Income Tax Course is added nationally and covers tax go back coaching for people and small to medium-size agencies. You want a high school schooling, expertise of simple math, and the potential to comply with written commands, and the route requires no earlier revel in getting ready taxes, making it the great tax education path for beginners. 

Once you sign up, you’ll be assigned a committed mentor who will manual you through the route. They’ll additionally be available to provide you with coaching or different support you need to prevail. However, it is going to be as much as you to find tax practise paintings. 

You complete this system’s 20 on-line modules at your own pace, because of this it may be finished in as quickly as 8 weeks or it may take up to a 12 months. Expect it to take about 8 hours to finish each unit. 

In addition to online resources, you’ll get the entire route in difficult replica format so that you may have a available reference supply. 

The direction costs $625 if you pay in full. Alternatively, you could pay three equal installments of $216 for a complete fee of $648. These costs consist of a ten% discount provided associated with COVID-19.

If you want, you could also preserve to complete greater advanced tax education training with the National Tax Training School, so that you can in the long run become licensed by using the IRS as an Enrolled Agent.

Best for Advanced : Advanced Tax Preparation by means of the National Tax Training School

National Tax Training School

Why We Chose It: For those experienced with preparing basic tax returns, the Advanced Tax Preparation route via National Tax Training School can teach tax execs a way to prepare extra complex tax returns. Plus, Enrolled Agent examination prep is covered.

What We Like
  • Learn how to put together complex tax returns

  • Access to a tax expert mentor for a 12 months

What We Don’t Like
  • Job placement services aren’t furnished

  • Can take a yr to finish the program

If you know a way to put together primary tax returns and need to continue to strengthen for your career, the Advanced Tax Preparation route with the aid of National Tax Training School is a notable alternative. You’ll learn how to offer a full suite of tax services (e.g., complex tax returns, tax approach, tax consulting), and Enrolled Agent exam prep, which is generally offered as a separate software, is blanketed. 

This on line route is self-paced. It’s feasible to complete it in more than one months, however it can take a 12 months. In addition to on line substances, you’ll receive a hard copy to apply as a reference guide and you’ll be assigned a direction mentor who can help you with tax-associated problems for up to a yr.

Upon commencement, you’ll earn a certificate identifying you as a Professional Tax Consultant. If you want to grow to be an Enrolled Agent, you’ll be prepared to sit for the examination upon commencement. Getting certified as an EA can be a wonderful way to boost up your tax instruction career.

If you choose this program, the tuition is $745 if paid in full earlier. Alternatively, you may make identical installments of $380 for a total training of $760.

Best for Continuing Education : National Association of Tax Professionals CPE Packages

National Association of Tax Professionals

Why We Chose It: You can get admission to fine CPE training from a professional business enterprise diagnosed by means of the IRS at an inexpensive value.

What We Like
  • More than 2 hundred CPE credits included with the top rate membership

  • Non-contributors can get right of entry to a number of the web CPE education

  • Professional enterprise diagnosed by way of the IRS

What We Don’t Like
  • Only top rate participants can access all of the online CPE training

  • Costs are higher for non-participants

The National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) became based in 1979. It offers schooling and help to tax specialists nationally. If you’re a top class member, you’ll get get right of entry to to all of the NATP’s on-line CPE schooling for no additional price, or even non-contributors of the NATP can access some of its quality persevering with expert education.

You can select from three NATP club degrees, all of which consist of a few CPE services. This is the maximum astonishing CPE imparting of the tax guidance course vendors we reviewed. More information about the NATP club tiers are provided underneath:

  Basic Professional Premium
Annual price $99 $205 $660
NATP’s weekly TAXPRO journal newsletter Included Included  Included 
NATP chapter membership for networking Included  Included  Included 
Discount off non-member price for maximum NATP education materials, workplace materials, and books five% 25% 25%
Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) route and exam Included Included Included
EA evaluation path for Part 1 of the examination the usage of Gleim’s substances Included  Included  Included 
4 CPE hours of ethics and due diligence webinars Included  Included  Included 
Business practice training—4 on-line publications Included  Included  Included 
1-2 CPE hours of tax webinars Excluded Included Included
four CPE hours of checks from the TAXPRO journal Excluded  Included  Included 
Answers to tax studies questions from an expert Excluded One Five
Online studies via the TaxBook WebLibrary Plus Excluded  Additional fee of $179 Included
Access to all NATP on-line CPE guides (200+ credit) Excluded  Excluded Excluded
Free shipping on products Excluded Excluded  Included 

If you aren’t an NATP member, you should buy 10 CPE credit for guides approximately foreign taxes for $346 or forty CPE credit for fundamental tax practise guides for $510. Professional or simple NATP contributors get a price discount of 5% to 25%. All of these publications are included within the top class NATP club. The CPE education prices are better for non-participants. If you want to peer if the NATP CPE education is proper for you, a more price-powerful alternative is to buy the simple club.

Best for Enrolled Agent Exam Prep : Gleim Enrolled Agent Review


Why We Chose It: You can get access to a sturdy library of EA evaluation materials from a famous issuer for a reasonable value, and the highest-price plan includes up to 72 hours of CPE credit.

What We Like
  • Three competitive pricing stages

  • Personalized support from a counselor with better-cost plans

What We Don’t Like
  • No one-on-one aid with the lowest-price plan

  • Digital and physical overview ebook only to be had with better-value plans

Gleim Exam Prep has been publishing accounting assessment publications when you consider that 1980. The enterprise gives diverse accounting exam prep guides that are most of the excellent in the market, along with an EA review path that provides a excessive degree of help and materials with the acquisition of a Gleim EA review route. 

You can pick from 3 EA exam prep options ranging in value from $379.85 to $629.95 (sometimes discounted as little as $598.forty five). If you purchase the lowest-fee product, you’ll get get admission to to an Enrolled Agent exam take a look at financial institution and either a digital or bodily reproduction of the assessment book. 

With the very best-fee plan, you’ll get a physical and virtual copy of the book along with adaptive generation to guide you to regions you need to observe. You’ll be capable of take a complete-period exercise exam six instances, get hold of non-public support from a counselor, and earn as much as 72 hours of CPE credit. This is useful if you need to meet your annual CPE requirements while analyzing for the exam.

The quantity of time it will take you to complete this direction ranges from a couple of months to up to a 12 months or longer.

Best Low-Cost Option : H&R Block Income Tax Preparation Course

H&R Block logo

Why We Chose It: There’s no lessons, and also you’ll discover ways to put together federal earnings taxes from an skilled tax expert.

What We Like
  • Free training

  • Reasonable fee for substances

  • May be able to stable a job

What We Don’t Like
  • Classes are handiest offered seasonally

  • Time extensive

H&R Block is a tax services organization based in 1955. It has places all through the USA and its territories, in addition to on military bases globally. If you’re interested by exploring a profession as a tax preparer, H&R Block gives a low-fee, 12-week digital federal earnings tax route. You can expect to spend eighty to 90 hours of work on this path.

What made it stand out is you gained’t ought to pay any tuition for this direction. In all states apart from New York and Tennessee, you’ll want to buy direction materials. This will cost $ninety nine in case you stay in Minnesota and $149 in all different states. 

You’ll want to be as a minimum 18 to sign up. Although the specific requirements vary slightly by way of country, you’ll normally need to have as a minimum a high faculty degree to be admitted.

Classes open for enrollment in August every yr. The intention is to teach you a way to put together taxes earlier than the following tax season starts offevolved. You’ll study federal profits taxes from skilled tax specialists, and might also be able to begin a career with H&R Block when you’ve finished the education. 

You will also be able to get college credit from the University of Phoenix or Western Governors University. You’ll want to reach out to an guide at these faculties to learn how to get the credit transferred and to talk about any fees that could practice.

Best for Volunteers : IRS Link and Learn Taxes


Why We Chose It: You can learn how to prepare taxes free of charge and get enjoy you may follow closer to a license, and you could even earn continuing education credit score.

What We Like
  • Free

  • Gain studies as a tax preparer

  • Learn about taxes at once from the IRS

What We Don’t Like
  • Takes as much as 30 hours to complete

  • Must skip an exam

The IRS offers loose tax preparation education to volunteers as a part of its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) tax return coaching programs. The motive of those packages is to help qualifying taxpayers file their tax returns and this is achieved with the assist of volunteers who're skilled in tax coaching. 

If you need to serve as a VITA/TCE volunteer, you could get tax practise schooling from the IRS for free. You can count on it to take about 30 hours to complete this schooling course. Before you could start getting ready taxes, you’ll want to skip the education examination with a rating of at the least 80%. 

If you’re an experienced tax preparer, you can additionally be capable of earn up to 18 hours of CPE credit with the aid of volunteering in this program. In addition to preparing tax returns, you may even serve as a volunteer trainer. 

You don’t need to have previous enjoy to finish this training and function a volunteer. However, you’ll be required to stick to high ethical standards and pass an ethics schooling direction.

Final Verdict

If you’re inquisitive about furthering your tax training profession, there are tax guides available to healthy various desires. Before deciding on a tax guidance course, make sure you apprehend the charges and time dedication. If you’re looking for CPE credit score, look for vendors authorised by using the IRS. All of the groups on our listing are accepted by the IRS as continuing education vendors.

We chose Surgent Income Tax School as providing the general first-class tax preparation direction because it has gaining knowledge of alternatives available to human beings with all knowledge and revel in tiers. Plus, the costs are affordable, and the college has a exceptional recognition. You can count on to pay $29 for a unmarried CPE course as much as $1,497 for its most comprehensive tax schooling.

Compare Providers

  Tax Prep Course   Wins For   Why We Picked It   Cost   Length of Course
Surgent Income Tax School Best Overall Tax education guides to be had for all ranges of revel in $29 to $1,497 12 to 18 months
Federal Income Tax Course with the aid of the National Tax Training School Best for Beginners Program will prepare you for a career in tax guidance $625 to $720 2 to 365 days
Advanced Tax Preparation with the aid of the National Tax Training School Best for Advanced Obtain the training you want to grow to be a tax representative and an Enrolled Agent $745 to $760 2 to 12 months
National Association of Tax Professionals CPE Packages Best for Continuing Education Premium NATP contributors have get entry to to all online CPE schooling, and even non-participants can access some trainings Access to all on-line training for $660 1 hour to 200+ hours
Gleim Enrolled Agent Review Best for Enrolled Agent Exam Prep Access to a robust library of examination prep sources, and you could earn CPE credit score even as you take a look at $379.eighty five to $629.95 2 to 12+ months
H&R Block Income Tax Preparation Course Best Low-Cost Option Learn a way to put together taxes from a tax pro and probably begin a tax profession Free to $149 12 weeks
IRS Link and Learn Taxes Best for Volunteers Learn the way to prepare taxes without spending a dime and advantage actual-international tax instruction enjoy Free 30 hours


What Is a Tax Preparation Course?

A tax practise course will educate you the way to put together federal earnings taxes. You normally don’t want any experience to take those guides except a excessive school education and primary math understanding. 

After finishing a starting tax education direction, registering with the IRS as a tax go back preparer, and receiving a preparer tax identity variety (PTIN), you’ll be geared up to begin your career as a tax preparer.

Who Should Enroll in a Tax Preparation Course?

Anyone inquisitive about gaining knowledge of greater approximately taxes, beginning a profession as a tax preparer, or advancing their tax coaching profession have to join in a tax coaching route. If you’re a beginner, this form of course will assist you research if a tax training career is proper for you. Experienced tax preparers can advance their careers to the next degree (e.g., skip the Enrolled Agent exam) or earn the CPE credits required to preserve their licenses.

How Is a Tax Preparer Different From an Accountant?

Accountants carry out a extensive form of paintings which include getting ready monetary statements, filing tax returns, or even auditing a organisation’s economic statements. They can also help people and agencies expand monetary plans and property making plans. Tax preparers are only able to offer individuals and groups with help and recommendation related to taxes. 

How Much Money Can a Tax Preparer Make?

According to records from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), tax preparers’ median annual revenue is predicted at $43,080. Overall, BLS annual tax preparer revenue estimates range from a low of $21,750 to a high of $87,060.

The quantity you could make as a tax preparer relies upon to your experience, qualifications, and geographic location. The more experience you have and the higher your qualifications, the extra cash you’ll make. Similarly, in case you stay in a higher-price place of the U.S. (e.g., California), you can expect to make more money than in case you stay in a decrease-cost place (e.g., West Virginia).

What Will I Learn in a Tax Preparation Course?

You’ll learn how to prepare federal income tax returns for individuals and small to medium-size agencies in a simple tax guidance path. If you continue to a complicated tax practise path, you’ll discover ways to put together greater complex tax returns together with corporate tax returns. You’ll additionally learn how to broaden tax strategies along with your clients. 


We looked at greater than dozen tax education publications in our search. To discover the satisfactory, we taken into consideration the issuer’s reputation, how much the guides cost, what subjects are covered, and the way long it's going to take you to finish every path. We also evaluated the sort of teacher guide you could get and in case you’ll get career help. Additionally, we considered if they’re included within the IRS listing of accredited CPE vendors.

All of the groups on our listing are authorised by the IRS as persevering with expert training vendors and offer tax prep education at an less costly price.

Article Sources

  1. IRS. "Continuing Education for Tax Professionals." Accessed March 12, 2021.

  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Employment Statistics." Accessed March 11, 2021.