A new career in income tax preparation could be a safety net for some of the thousands of bank and financial services employees who are losing their jobs due to the current economic crisis. Many of those being laid off are older employees who would not be able to find another comparable full-time job, but are not ready to retire.Tax professionals need many of the same qualifications that bankers and financial professionals possess. A tax preparer must be able to conduct a thorough interview to extract financial and personal information from their client and hold that information in complete confidence. Preparing income tax returns requires similar skills as completing banking, mortgage or investment documents.

These jobs all require attention to detail, the ability to understand and interpret complex rules, and to work with numbers and software programs. Good people skills and professionalism are also prerequisites. However, knowledge of accounting and math are not necessary to become a preparer. Preparing individual tax returns involves only basic arithmetic.

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