Oregon is the only state in which tax consultants and preparers must be licensed by the state in order to work in this area of the accounting industry. Some of the licenses that you can have in this field are:
- LTC – Licensed Tax Consultant
- LTP – Licensed Tax Preparer
- ESZ – Enrolled Agent (this is a national certification)
The difference between an LTC designation and that of the LTP designation is that a licensed tax consultant can be an independent prepare of taxes and operate his/her own firm. A tax preparer in this state can only prepare income tax returns for companies or individuals under the supervision of a tax consultant. If you have the license required for a tax preparer, you can take the exam to advance to the position of consultant after 780 hours of work experience.
To become a licensed tax preparer, aspiring to be tax consultant, in Oregon, you must meet specific requirements. You must be eighteen years of age and either hold a high school diploma or pass an equivalency exam. You do need to complete at least eighty hours of course work in basic income tax law and the state has a list of approved colleges that offer this program. After you complete the course work, you must attain a mark of 75% or higher on a state tax preparer exam. You do have to provide proof of successful completion of the course in income tax preparation before you can receive your certificate.
If you already hold the license for tax preparer, there are also requirements you must meet before receiving certification as a
tax consultant. You must submit proof that you have worked in the field under the supervision of a certified consultant for the required number of hours. Your employer has to submit a verification of work experience and this work experience has to be within the five years immediately preceding your application. You are also required to have an additional fifteen hours of continuing education and you must pass the exam for tax consultants with at least 75%. Volunteer work in tax preparation is also accepted as work experience as long as it is with organizations approved by the state. You can substitute one hour of volunteering for each five hours worked to a maximum of 150 hours.
If you don’t have a license to work as a tax preparer, there is another set of regulations for becoming a tax consultant. You still have to complete the eighty hours of course work and submit the proof that you have completed them successfully. You can petition the board to consider your work experience in this field in another state if you do not have the required 780 hours of experience. If you do not have the required hours in the past five years, you can also petition the board to consider all of your tax preparation experience. Once you receive approval, you can write the state exam. Even if you have the nationally accepted license as an enrolled agent, you are still required to pass this exam to practice in the state of Oregon.
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