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Best Tax Preparation Courses

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Is it that time again? Each new tax season heralds a new dash into tax preparation. So whether you are a tax preparer getting ready for April 15 or you plan to do your own taxes, taking an online course may help.

There are plenty of books and software that can make tax time easier, but books don’t give you the immersive experience of taking a class. You can take courses from the comfort of your own home, too.

Best Tax Prep Courses:

Tax Prep Course Qualities

Don’t put off taking a new tax course. Not only can it help tax professionals broaden their understanding, but it may also give you the confidence you need to file those taxes yourself. Are you on a strict budget?

Are you looking to learn specific skills? The best tax preparation classes may vary from individual to individual, but there are some general considerations when looking at online tax preparation courses:

Price

Price may be one major consideration (and one that keeps you from signing up for courses). Fortunately, online classes are available for a range of prices. Some are free to audit without graded assignments or a certificate of completion. Others are available for a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

Instructor’s Knowledge or Reputation

Your course is only as good as your instructor. Check out who is teaching the class before you enroll in a new one. Is the instructor an industry leader? Does he or she have experience that surpasses your own? If he or she doesn’t, you may not be able to learn anything new.

Take a peek at reviews from past students. That’s a good indicator of whether the course is designed well and whether the delivery method is conducive to learning. Just because someone is an industry leader doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is equipped to deliver material in a clear way. Take both into consideration when looking at new classes.

Specific Skills Taught

Which skills are covered in the class, and are they the ones you need? Tax preparation is a broad field, so don’t waste your precious time taking an online course you’re not going to use. Instead, take a look at the online syllabus.

Get to know the format of the class and which topics are covered. Some online platforms also give you preview videos so you can make sure you’re in the right place prior to signing up for the class. Unlike reading stock market books, tax prep courses aren’t theoretical. So make sure the course is up to date with clear instruction about tax laws. Lastly, some classes are not offered all the time.

If you find a class that interests you, it’s better to take it as soon as possible because you never know when it will be removed or archived.

Best Tax Prep Courses for Beginners

If you’re just starting down the road to becoming a tax professional, start here.

1. U.S. Income Taxes: Income Tax Preparation Simplified for You by Udemy

Find on Udemy $29
  • Who’s It For: Beginners
  • Price: $29

Designed for personal use, the “U.S. Income Tax” class provides simplified information for you to e-file your taxes on your own. The instructor covers topics such as basic federal tax laws, liability, and refunds, as well as how to prepare your own federal and state returns.

The class is relatively short, at only 2.5 hours of on-demand video. In addition, you also receive a certificate of completion and lifetime full access. This course is designed for beginners, though, so if you feel that it is too easy, you can take advantage of Udemy’s money-back guarantee for a refund.

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2. Tax Preparation: Learn Fast! Prepare Taxes with Confidence!

  • Who’s It For: All Levels
  • PriceOn Sale!
on Sale at Udemy

If you need a better understanding of tax laws and filing, this course may be the one for you. This comprehensive look at filing requirements, claims and deductions take the mystery out of filing. Using scenarios and examples to illustrate points, it provides a practical view of tax preparation.

Learn filing basics and watch different scenarios to understand common filing situations. Over two hours of on-demand video and full lifetime access will allow you to keep coming back to the class every year if needed.

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Best for Intermediate Tax Prep Courses

Do you already have some classes under your belt? Continue your education with these classes.

3. Federal Taxation I: Individuals, Employees, and Sole Proprietors by Coursera

Find on Coursera

This course is part one of a five-part certification course offered by Coursera. But you don’t have to sign up for the certificate if you don’t want to. Each class can be taken individually.

The course covers everything you need to know to fill out the main individual tax return, Form 1040. In addition, it may take around 40 hours to complete the course with six to eight hours of commitment each week. Because of the fee structure, though, it may be cheaper for you to complete the course as quickly as possible.

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4. Preparing a Defensive Crypto Tax Return (U.S.) Part 1 by Udemy

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  • Who’s It For: Intermediate
  • PriceOn Sale!

Reporting cryptocurrencies may have the most seasoned tax preparers scratching their heads. Because of the relative newness of this currency, it may be unclear how to report it on a tax return. Fortunately, crypto tax expert Clinton Donnelly is here to lend his expertise.

The course is geared towards people who have sold cryptocurrencies during the tax year. However, anyone interested in finding out how to file investment in cryptocurrencies as income may be interested in the class.

Because this class is offered by Udemy, you receive lifetime access to the course content, including any updates. You also receive a certificate of completion when you finish the course.

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Best Advanced Tax Preparation Courses

Are you almost a pro? Make it official with these courses.

5. Financial Record Keeping by LinkedIn Learning

Find on Lynda
  • Who’s It For: All Levels
  • Price: On sale

Learn financial record-keeping like a pro to track finances and taxes. Whether you own a business or you’re a tax preparer, learning how to keep accurate records can help when it’s time to pay taxes.

In addition, if you’re a tax preparer with your own business, you may benefit from topics such as creating forecasts, quantitative business plans and preparing detailed reports. This course is for all levels, but there may be some new tips that an expert can learn.

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6. How to Prepare Your Taxes for Entrepreneurs by Udemy

On Sale at Udemy
  • Who’s It For: All Levels
  • PriceOn Sale!

As an entrepreneur, getting your taxes ready may be the last thing on your mind. However, it doesn’t go away just because you don’t think about it. This course can help you out if you want to learn how to prepare your taxes more efficiently.

So if you wish to fill out your own Schedule C with confidence and minimize your tax liability, this may be the course for you. In addition, the course is updated regularly so you always have access to the latest tax information no matter when you access the class.

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7. Rethinking International Tax Law by Coursera

Find on Coursera
  • Who’s It For: All Levels
  • Price: On sale

Do you have multinational clients? If you prepare taxes across country borders or are planning to, you may need to brush up on the foundations of this widely debated field of tax law. This course by Coursera also covers ethical aspects and current developments of tax planning.

This comprehensive course is complete with flexible deadlines. Coursera estimates it to be a 31-hour long course with four to 12 hours committed per week. However, the actual time may depend on you and your individual schedule.

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The Final Word

There are a variety of online courses available to suit most needs and budgets. So why not take advantage of the fact that you can take investing courses or Microsoft Excel classes from home? Flexible deadlines and on-demand videos make it easy to supplement your resume or put you in line for that job promotion.

There are also classes that can help complete school assignments or give you an overview of a career path you may be interested in. Knowledge is at your fingertips, and you don’t need to go to a traditional college to obtain it anymore. So check out what these online platforms can offer you today and start expanding your knowledge base.

Explore all your possibilities. Udemy online courses on sale from $11.99