Tax Preparation Career - Should I Do It?

Tax Preparation CareerThe decision to go into a tax preparation career is not an easy one. As a rule of thumb, everyone hates paying taxes, so naturally this isn't a good starting point. There are, however, many good things about a tax preparation career that are worth exploring. Whether it's for you or not will depend on how you weigh the good vs. the bad.

Benefits of a Tax Preparation Career

If you're considering a tax preparation career, understanding the benefits of this path may be the push you need to jump into this line of work. Here are some potential benefits:
  • The pay is reasonable. While you may not start out making a lot of money, your earning potential is very high if you work at a large firm. Partners of these firms generally earn over $200,000 per year. Even if that seems like a long shot for you, many experienced professionals in this field (with as little as 4-5 years of experience) can earn close to $100,000 per year.
  • You're viewed as a valuable resource. Those in a tax preparation career are generally viewed as smart people who add value to society. After all, it's your job to help people save money, and they appreciate that. Most people view taxes as confusing and tedious, so your profession helps relieve these issues.
  • There's a lot of down time during the year. With the peaks and valleys inherent in a tax preparation career (due to government mandated deadlines), you may often find yourself with down time during the summer and around the holiday season. This may give you more time to enjoy the nice weather, or spend a holiday vacation with your family.

The Downside of Tax Preparation Career

Although the benefits may appeal to you, it's important that you keep in mind the negative aspects of pursuing a tax preparation career. Here are some potential ones you may encounter:
  • Strict deadlines leave little flexibility. Because there are penalties and other legal ramifications when it comes to filing your taxes late, you must be available and ready to work hard around the deadlines. If something comes up near a deadline (for example, your good friend has front row seats to a daytime sporting event), you will be unable to participate.
  • Strict deadlines generally require hard work and long hours. Due to such deadlines, you'll often be faced with long days, working 12 hours or more. It's important that the work gets done in a timely fashion, often at the cost of your personal life.
  • You need to be interested in taxes to stay in a tax preparation career for a long time. Let's face it - taxes can be boring and tedious, so if you can't find yourself interested in at least some part of it, you will eventually move on and find another job.
Hopefully these pros and cons will help you evaluate your desire to pursue a tax preparation career. It's not an easy decision, and it's important that you consider all the various aspects involved.