Long ago when I was working as a para-professional for a CPA I was sent to H & R Block tax school to learn how to prepare taxes. To this day I think their forms based curriculum was a great approach.
I now have an employee who would like to start preparing returns and I went to enroll her in H & R's course and found they now have a non-compete clause that if you work for, or plan to work for, a competing tax practice you cannot take the course.
I am wondering if any of you have had experience with any of the other entry level tax preparer courses out there. An additional issue we have is that we are in Oregon where you have to be licensed to prepare taxes for compensation. The first level of licensure requires an 80 hour course. Even though she will be working under my license, I would want the coursework she does to qualify for her to sit the exam.
Thanks in advance for any input.
This is good advice. I have to admit I've been a bit antisocial when it comes to professional societies since I attended meetings where people were just gossiping about other members in the community. I should get over that and go mingle.
To be honest I get better information form this group and it doesn't take up that precious time away from my office.
But I will check with my state CPA & EA groups.
One entry level involves doing a bit of volunteer work, but the training is good.
Either AARP Tax-Aide https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/info-2006/volunteer_aarp_tax_aide.html
This training school has been around for quite a while https://www.theincometaxschool.com/
They also offer an EA program https://www.theincometaxschool.com/national-association-of-enrolled-agents/
Thanks for this. I really like the idea of using the VITA course, and have been thinking about doing it for CPE for myself as I hear it's a great review of basics. I haven't been able to determine if it will meet the 80 hour requirement for Oregon.
I'm checking out the Income Tax School as the do have a qualifying course.
I sent an employee to that course many years ago also, even though I thought it was unscrupulous for them to make people pay for training that might lead to a job with them. But why do you think your employee would go to work for "a competing tax practice?" They're not any competition for a pro like you.
You could fire your employee with severance pay. Then when she has completed the course, reconcile and hire her back. Or does Block have a history of suing students who take advantage of their training? They probably have an arbitration clause, requiring a hearing in Kansas City.
I have found courses offered by a couple of Oregon community colleges (not our local though). I just remember my experience which was going through the H&R course and having a good beginner's grasp of the subject and being well prepared for the initial licensing exam. Later when I was taking the college tax courses while working toward my CPA license, I remember looking around the room at my classmates and thinking "These poor people aren't going to have a clue how to prepare a tax return when they get out of here". Sure enough one of them was working at the same firm as me and I had to train her how the theory actually works on the forms. We went on to be business partners for 20 years.
I guess I'm looking for what other's experience has been with the various courses. I appreciate hearing about what has worked for you all.
I sent someone to this years ago... and at that time it seemed to work.
I also sent employees to HRB decades ago, and agree it was great basic training. THEN they started the non-compete routine. I find it difficult to believe they really could or would try to enforce it but I'm not an attorney (and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night 😉).
(edited to close that pesky ")"
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