Best Tax Preparation Courses Online & Certification (April 2024)

  • Post last modified:28 October 2023
  • Reading time:28 mins read
  • Post category:Best Online Course
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Tax preparation is the meticulous process of calculating and filing taxes, ensuring compliance with the ever-evolving tax laws and regulations. It involves the thorough examination of financial records, deductions, and credits to determine the accurate amount of taxes owed to the government. Tax preparation courses play a pivotal role in equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate this complex terrain, which makes choosing the best tax preparation course all the more important. 

Importance of Tax Preparation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reported that over 14 million taxpayers made inaccuracies on their tax returns, which collectively led to an astounding estimated sum of $14.8 billion in refunds. This stark figure underscores the undeniable importance of meticulous tax preparation in the quest to optimize financial outcomes.

As businesses and individuals continue to seek expert guidance in navigating these intricate financial landscapes, the demand for skilled tax professionals remains high. Considering this high demand and the ongoing evolution of the tax code, there’s no better time than now to learn tax preparation!

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Best Tax Preparation Courses, Certification, Tutorials, Training, Classes Online

Tax Preparation and Law 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, & 2019 [Udemy]

Unlock the intricacies of income taxes with this comprehensive tax preparation course online. This in-depth program equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the intricate world of income tax law. Throughout the course, you’ll delve into the core aspects of income tax preparation.

Course Instructor

Robert (Bob) Steele, the instructor of this tax preparation class, is a highly experienced CPA and educator with a Master of Science in taxation. He has authored books and developed numerous courses in accounting, making complex concepts understandable and applicable to real-world scenarios.

Pros & Cons


  • Optimize Deductions
  • Self-Employment Expertise


  • Time Commitment
  • Advanced Level

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to optimize deductions, both above-the-line and itemized, to maximize your tax benefits while ensuring accurate reporting.

  • Understand the impact of different filing statuses on your tax liabilities and identify the most advantageous option for your financial situation.

  • Explore various components of gross income for tax purposes, ensuring comprehensive and accurate reporting.

  • Demystify the complexities of capital gains and losses calculations using Schedule D, taking into account applicable tax rates and holding periods.

  • Benefit from step-by-step instructions, practical examples, and problem-solving exercises that simulate real-world tax scenarios.

  • This course comprises 798 video lectures, 6 informative articles, 513 downloadable resources, and upon successful completion, awards you with a valuable certificate of completion.

Who is it for?

This comprehensive income online tax preparation course is an ideal choice for aspiring tax professionals, small business owners aiming to accurately report income and deductions, and students studying accounting or finance. It caters to those who want to enhance their financial literacy and confidently handle their tax obligations.

Rating: 4.2/5
Students Enrolled: 48,915
Duration: 188 hours

U.S. Federal Taxation Specialization [Coursera]

The U.S. Federal Taxation Specialization is an extensive tax preparation certification designed to provide a deep understanding of U.S. federal taxation, focusing on both individuals and businesses. From individual tax returns to intricate corporate taxation, this specialization covers key concepts, including gross income, deductions, property transactions, and the taxation of various business entities.

Course Instructor

The U.S. Federal Taxation certification course is led by instructors Michael P. Donohoe, PhD, CPA, and Matthew Hutchens, both renowned experts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offering a wealth of knowledge and practical insights in the realm of U.S. federal taxation.

What you’ll learn

here’s a brief paragraph describing each of the courses within the U.S. Federal Taxation Specialization:

  1. Federal Taxation I: Individuals, Employees, and Sole Proprietors: This course serves as the foundational cornerstone of the specialization. Over 30 hours, it delves into the U.S. federal tax system’s intricacies concerning individuals, employees, and sole proprietors.

  2. Federal Taxation II: Property Transactions of Business Owners and Shareholders: Building on the fundamentals, this 30-hour course explores property transactions within the U.S. federal tax system, particularly focusing on business owners and shareholders.

  3. Taxation of Business Entities I: Corporations: With a duration of 32 hours, this course introduces students to the U.S. federal income taxation of corporations and their shareholders.

  4. Taxation of Business Entities II: Pass-Through Entities: In this 34-hour course, students dive into the U.S. federal income taxation of pass-through business entities, including Subchapter S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies.

Pros & Cons


  • University Recognition
  • Real-World Application
  • Career Advancement


  • Niche Focus
  • Time Commitment

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • The courses emphasize practical application by involving learners in projects that mirror real-world tax scenarios, enabling them to develop valuable skills for their careers.

  • Offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, consistently ranked among the top accounting programs in the U.S., the specialization carries the prestige of a respected institution.

  • Learners have the chance to connect with peers and professionals in the field, fostering valuable networking relationships that can benefit their careers.

  • The Specialization comprises four courses, each with multiple video lectures and resources, with a total of approximately 126 hours of video content across all courses. Upon completion of the specialization, learners also receive a certificate of completion.

Who is it for?

This tax preparation course with certification is ideally suited for individuals aspiring to become proficient in U.S. federal taxation, including tax professionals, accountants, financial analysts, and business professionals seeking to enhance their tax knowledge. With flexible scheduling and hands-on projects, this tax preparation course online allows learners to progress at their own pace while gaining valuable skills in accounting.

Rating: 4.8/5
Students Enrolled: 35,761
Duration: 3 months, 10 hours/week

US Income Taxes – Income Tax Preparation Simplified for You [Udemy]

This online tax preparation course is an extensive course designed to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare and e-file their own federal and state income tax returns. This course offers a no-nonsense, straightforward approach to demystify income taxes.

Course Instructor

Dr. Majo Jacinto, a certified public accountant and accomplished accounting professor with over 15 years of experience, serves as the knowledgeable instructor behind the tax preparation training course. Her expertise in both online and traditional education, along with her active role in accounting practice, ensures that students receive comprehensive guidance in mastering income tax preparation and financial empowerment.

Pros & Cons


  • Support for First-Time Filers
  • Credits and Deductions
  • Free E-Filing


  • No Personalized Tax Advice
  • Specific to U.S. Taxes

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • Offers valuable guidance for individuals filing taxes for the first time, ensuring they navigate the process confidently.

  • Learn the ins and outs of e-filing, including its benefits, to streamline your tax filing process and ensure accuracy.

  • Gain the knowledge and confidence to take control of your taxes, potentially saving an average of $200/year by preparing your own returns.

  • Beyond the current tax year, the course emphasizes long-term financial planning and how taxes can impact your financial future.

  • The course includes 31 lectures in the form of videos, 28 downloadable resources, and upon completion, students receive a Certificate of Completion.

Who is it for?

This tax preparation online course is best suited for individuals seeking to gain a complete understanding of U.S. income tax preparation, particularly those with low to moderate incomes, first-time filers, and college students who have worked part-time. It caters to learners who prefer a self-paced, online learning environment and are motivated to take control of their income taxes.

Rating: 4.5/5
Students Enrolled: 31,686
Duration: 3 hours

Tax Strategies of the Wealthy [Udemy]

In this tax preparation course online, participants gain a deep understanding of the intricate world of taxation. Covering everything from the history of the U.S. tax code to practical strategies for reducing tax liabilities, this course empowers you to save money during tax season, optimize their taxable income, and build wealth through tax-efficient means. With insights from IRS audits, this course is designed to equip individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions.

Course Instructor

The tax preparation class is instructed by Greg Vanderford, a seasoned educator with a master’s degree in business education, offering valuable insights into tax optimization and wealth-building strategies in a comprehensive and educational manner.

Pros & Cons


  • Tax History and Modern Insights
  • Audit Avoidance
  • Retire Tax-Free Plan
  • Savings and Wealth Building


  • Depth of Coverage
  • Prerequisite Knowledge

Key Highlights & Learning Objectives

  • Learn practical methods to save money during tax season, reduce taxable income, and build wealth more efficiently through legally sound tax strategies.

  • Discover insights on retiring without paying taxes on your income, enabling you to plan for a financially secure future.

  • Explore strategies to reduce the risk of an IRS audit, giving you peace of mind during tax filing.

  • Explore the historical evolution of the U.S. tax code and gain up-to-date insights into the latest tax regulations and strategies.

  • The course comprises 14 video lectures, 1 downloadable resource, and offers a certificate of completion upon finishing the course.

Who is it for?

This tax preparation online course is best suited for individuals who want to gain a foundational understanding of taxation, reduce their tax liabilities, and explore legal methods for wealth-building. It’s particularly beneficial for those looking to navigate the complexities of the U.S. tax code, save money during tax season, and plan for a tax-efficient retirement.

Rating: 4.2/5
Students Enrolled: 24,137
Duration: 4 hours


What is meant by tax preparation?

Tax preparation encompasses the meticulous process of computing, recording, and submitting the requisite forms and data stipulated by governmental authorities to fulfill one’s tax obligations.

This multifaceted task involves the systematic arrangement of financial records, the determination of taxable income, and the scrupulous adherence to the intricacies of tax legislation. Through tax preparation, individuals and entities ensure their compliance with tax laws while accurately reporting their financial activities to the authorities.

How can one prepare for income tax?

Preparing for income tax necessitates a structured approach involving various stages. It entails maintaining precise financial records, gaining a comprehensive understanding of tax regulations, and assembling essential documents such as W-2s or 1099s. Individuals can opt to self-prepare using user-friendly tax software, seek expert guidance from tax professionals, or consult reputable tax resources to navigate the intricacies of tax compliance.

What is the qualification for an income tax practitioner?

The qualifications for becoming an income tax practitioner, which allows someone to prepare and file income tax returns for individuals or businesses, can vary by country and region. However, in many places, there are certain general qualifications and steps to become a certified income tax practitioner:

Education and Knowledge:
Education: Typically, a minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma or its equivalent. However, having a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field can be advantageous.

Tax Preparation Courses: Completing specialized tax preparation courses or programs can provide in-depth knowledge about tax laws, regulations, and tax preparation techniques. These might be offered by colleges, universities, or specialized institutions.

Licensing and Certification:
Professional Certification: Some regions might require certification or licensing. For instance, in the United States, individuals can become Enrolled Agents (EA), Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), or tax attorneys, each with their specific qualification and licensing requirements.

Enrolled Agent (EA): In the U.S., becoming an EA involves passing a comprehensive three-part exam administered by the IRS or having relevant experience in tax preparation. EAs have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Continuing Education: Ongoing training and continuing education might be required to maintain credentials and stay updated with tax law changes and updates.

Work Experience: Gaining practical experience in tax preparation under the guidance of experienced tax professionals or through internships can be beneficial.

On-the-Job Training: Many practitioners gain significant knowledge and skills through on-the-job training while working in tax preparation firms or accounting departments.

Other Requirements:
Good Standing: Maintaining a clean record in terms of legal and ethical compliance is essential for individuals pursuing a career as a tax practitioner.

Adherence to Regulations: Understanding and adhering to the tax laws, regulations, and ethics specific to the region where the practitioner operates is crucial.

The qualifications and requirements to become an income tax practitioner can vary widely based on the specific country, region, and the type of tax work an individual wants to undertake. It’s essential to research the specific qualifications, certifications, and licensing requirements set by the local tax authority or professional bodies to work as a recognized and credible income tax practitioner.

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