Temporary Tax Season Jobs

Jobs in Income Tax Preparation, Advising, and Processing

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Looking for a seasonal job? Tax preparation companies hire seasonal workers to help clients prepare income tax returns during tax season (typically January 1 through April 15).

A tax preparation job can be a great way to earn extra money during income tax season and can sometimes lead to other more permanent opportunities in accounting and finance. The positions are often flexible, allowing you to work days, nights, or weekends, depending on your schedule. They can be full-time or part-time. Because of this flexibility, it is an ideal seasonal job for parents and people with full-time jobs.

Some positions in tax preparation require tax experience or specific certifications. Others, like jobs in data entry and administration, do not require tax experience.

Read below for information on the types of tax season jobs available, the qualifications you might need, and how to find these jobs.

Types of Tax Season Jobs

Tax preparation offices ranging from small local offices to large tax firms hire a variety of types of seasonal workers. Online companies like Intuit (which makes TurboTax) also hires tax advisors. The Internal Revenue Service also hires temporary employees for tax filing season.

The types of jobs available vary in their duties. Tax preparer jobs require you to help clients prepare their tax returns and answer any questions they have. Other jobs that involve helping clients with taxes and general financial planning include audit associates, personal financial services associates, tax examiners, and tax advisors.

There are also positions that do not require you to have much, or any, financial knowledge. For example, positions like general clerk and data transcriber require you to review, examine, and manage documents. Some companies also hire seasonal program coordinators, administrative assistants, and bookkeepers, who perform administrative duties like answering phones, maintaining databases, and more.

Qualifications for Tax Season Jobs

Depending on the job you apply to, some tax preparation companies seek candidates with specific experience and degrees. For example, a tax preparer job might require that candidates have a certain number of years of experience in accounting or tax preparation. Others might require Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification.

Some tax preparation companies (including H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt) offer income tax courses for applicants who lack experience or certifications but are interested in a seasonal job. Many courses begin before January so that you are qualified in time for tax season.

In-person and online courses are available. Some classes are free, although they may charge you for books and class materials. Other classes charge a fee. Most last a few weeks or months and are part-time. Before you sign up for a training course, check to see if there is a charge for the class and, if so, what is included in the fee.

Employment at the company isn't guaranteed after taking a course. However, taking a tax course can boost your application, especially if you have limited experience in tax preparation.

How to Find Tax Season Jobs

One way of finding tax jobs is to apply directly to the employer's website. In most cases, you'll be able to apply online for seasonal tax positions including tax professional, processing, advising, and administrative jobs. Below are the career websites for four of the largest tax preparation firms and organizations:

Another way to find income tax preparation jobs, especially at smaller companies, is to use various job search engines. You can search for a specific job title, such as “tax preparer” or “tax advisor.” Most job search engines allow you to search by type of job. Click the “Seasonal Jobs” box, if it is available.

If there is a tax firm near you, you can also stop in and ask if they have any seasonal jobs available. Or you can send them a cold contact letter, which is a letter to a company asking about unadvertised job openings.

Keep in mind that you can also offer tax preparation services yourself. You can set up an online tax preparation site (although this costs some money up front), or offer tax preparation in person. Most states (except for California and Oregon) do not require you to register with the state if you are a tax preparer. Therefore, this is something you could easily do seasonally, on your own time.