6 Tax Preparation Courses Online

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Being able to prepare tax and understand the law surrounding tax is incredibly useful for those wanting to work in the finance industry, or for those who are wanting to start their own business and want to report and file their own taxes. If you’re looking to progress your tax preparation skills further, we have spent the time researching the best tax preparation courses available online. We’ve included both free and paid courses, that are suitable for all levels, to ensure that you find a course best suited to you! 

But first, let’s answer a very important question – what exactly is tax preparation? 

Tax preparation is the process preparing and filing general tax forms. It includes audits and tax court issues and requires in depth knowledge of the law surrounding business taxes. Tax preparers can also represent taxpayers in court if they complete the IRS. Becoming a tax preparer requires knowing the ins and outs of a business, and understanding the technology that can be used to help along the way. 

If you are an aspiring tax preparer, someone wanting to work in finance, or a small business owner hoping to understand you taxes better, you can learn the basics of tax preparation through online learning. Suitable for all levels, I have spent the time researching the best online tax preparation tutorials out there. So, if you’re looking to progress your tax preparation g skills, there will be an online course out there for you!


1. Tax Preparation and Law, 2022, 2021, 2019 & 2018 (Udemy)

  • Level: All levels 
  • Completion time: 133h 55m 
  • Cost: $89.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 15,772 
  • Course rating: 4.6/5 (out of 2,428 ratings)

If you want to get to grips with income tax preparation and the law that surrounds it, this course can give you a heads up on everything you need to know. As a Udemy best seller, you can join over 15,000 students on their quest to become the best tax preparer out there. 

To start, you will get an introduction to the concepts of income tax, tax law and how it’s formatted. Next you’ll cover how to calculate taxes using a tax formula, the concepts of filing statuses, tax calculation formulas, list deductions, and how to complete a tax return, including what items to include and what items to not include! To accompany all this learning, you will be provided with practical examples at every step along the way, which gives you a visual understanding of tax preparation and the law around it. 


2. Fundamentals of Business Taxes (Udemy)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 1h 47m 
  • Cost: $39.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 4,592
  • Course rating: 4.6/5 (out of 995 ratings)

This course is for anyone, from business owners to entrepreneurs, no matter what kind of business you have or whether or not you have employees. You’ll start by getting a good understanding of what you need to know Federal Taxes for a new business, including what needs to be submitted to the IRS. After, you’ll learn about quarterly taxes, annual taxes, state level taxes and business owner taxes. 

You’ll leave this course with a fantastic understanding of the governments rules and requirements, as well as how to save time, and importantly funds, when filing business taxes. 


3. Learn Taxes from Experts (Jackson Hewitt Tax Services) 

  • Level: Beginner to intermediate
  • Completion time: 32h
  • Cost: N/A
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 15,485
  • Course rating: N/A

If you want to learn about taxes from experienced tax professionals, this flexible course is a great way to do so. Whether you decide to do it in-person, virtual or online, you can jump-start your goals in approximately 32 hours. 

You will learn how to file information and the requirements to do so. After, you’ll look at the filing basics, dependents, self-employment, retirement and government distribution, employee compensation and saver’s credit and child tax credit. Once you’ve gone through all this content you’ll get a certificate upon completion and recognized continuing education hours. 


4. Advanced Financial Reporting: Accounting for Business Combinations and Preparation of Consolidated Financial Statements (Coursera) 

  • Level: Advanced 
  • Completion time: 25h
  • Cost: Enroll for free
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 12,765
  • Course rating: 4.7/5 (out of 147 ratings)

Suitable for those with a good knowledge of tax preparation, this course covers everything you need to know about financial statements, preparation and reporting. This advanced course begins with a discussion of the scope of the ASC 805, which is business combinations. After, you’ll explore the measurement and recognition principles of the acquisition method, before looking at the consolidation process before finally looking at how to prepare the consolidated financial statements and make necessary adjustments. 

If you’re already experienced with tax preparation but are looking to take your skills to a whole new level, then this course will teach you something exciting and interesting. 


5. Fundamentals of Tax Preparation (UCLA Extension) 

  • Level: Beginner 
  • Completion time: N/A
  • Cost: N/A
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: N/A 

If you’re looking for an introductory course to provide you with the knowledge foundations to sit the Enrolled Agent (EA) Exam, then this is the course for you! 

You will explore the basics of preparing tax returns and how to research tax issue forms for individuals who are self-employed. After, you will cover the processes for filing a return, including electronic filing and the various refund and payment options. On top of this, you’ll look learn how tax software is implemented for preparing returns and you’ll learn the importance of following the application of tax law. The final part of the course then turns towards looking at the practices, procedures and ethics required for Enrolled Agents (EA) to obtain certification! 


6. Alison Tax Preparer Courses (Alison) 

  • Level: All levels 
  • Completion time: Various
  • Cost: Free
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: N/A

With plenty of different courses available, Alison provides you with the opportunity to become a tax preparer for free. With courses in tax accounting systems, tax administration, Value-Added tax and financial analysis, there is something for everyone with this course. 

If you want to join people across the world in a thriving career, then taking a few Alison course is something to consider! 



So, there you have it… the 6 best tax preparation courses that are available online. These classes are suited to anyone who is wanting to develop their tax knowledge and be able to prepare tax and returns.

Having excellent tax preparation skills will aid you in landing hundreds of exciting careers. From a career in finance, to a career as an entrepreneur, specific careers where tax preparation skills are particularly helpful include:

To gather the tax preparation skills that will help you to be able to prepare your own taxes, or kickstart a career in the finance industry,  there are lots of online courses available for you. There are free courses that take only an hour to complete. And, there are more expensive courses that take over 25 hours to complete! Some courses are suitable for those with no previous experience in tax preparation or finance. Whereas other courses are better suited for those with some experience with tax principles and law, but are looking to increase their knowledge a little more.

The online classes in this list are the best of the best. Each is taught by an experienced and dedicated teacher, and they all have lots of satisfied and happy customers.

So, which course you decide take depends on your experience, funds and spare time. Are you someone who has lots of tax preparation experience? Or, are you completely new to the industry? Do you have a huge amount of money to spend on your skill development? Do you have a lot of spare time, or are you just looking for a quick, but effective, skill top up?

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