Best Answer: Signing up with a tax preparation firm like H&R Block is a good stepping stone to get some practical hands on experience; if you want to go that route, just do your homework and pass the tests in their Income Tax course and you should be offered a job right off the bat. For more info on the course, go here: http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/planning/ta.
But if you're serious about making a career out of it, you'll definitely want to pursue further certifications. You could shoot for being a Certified Public Accountant if you are interested in more besides taxes (such as accounting, payroll, etc), or you can go for the Enrolled Agent if you want to specialize in taxes.
CPA's are able to perform a wider scope of services, but also take a lot more work to get the certification (which, by the way, is done state by state so you have to get re-certified
for each state in which you practice).
EA's are purely tax professionals and therefore have a faster track available for certification; all you ahve to do is pass a three part test (albeit a grueling one) administered by the IRS on the various areas of taxation (individuals, business entities, ethics, etc). Furthermore, the fact that they are IRS certified means you can practice in any state in the US.
In summary: if you just want to prepare basic returns like 1040s, H&R Block is a great option to get both training and experience. But if you want to get serious about it, either go straight taxes as an EA or a broad accounting stroke as a CPA. Either of these should open up a lot of job opportunities for you. Good luck.
Source(s): Personal Experience:
took H&R Block classes (Individual, Corporations, Partnerships) and am working towards the Enrolled Agent certification
Enrolled Agent information: