The National Tax Training School has been one of the top distance tax preparer schools in the nation since 1952. This licensed and nationally accredited program educates people with no previous tax or business experience to be trained, competent, and registered tax preparers in as little as 8 to 10 weeks. No pressure, though. They let you take up to a year to study and complete the 20 fact-filled lessons with help and support from an individual instructor as needed.
Three courses are offered:
~The Federal Income Tax Course which trains even those with no prior tax training to prepare tax returns for individuals and small businesses. After receiving your certificate of completion, you should be fully qualified to take and pass the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) examination required by the IRS, and be ready to set up your own income-earning Tax Preparer’s Business!
~The Higher Course in Federal Taxes is a more advanced course for Tax Professionals. It trains you to prepare taxes for partnerships, corporations, and fiduciaries and prepares you for the IRS Special Enrollment Exam.
~The California Tax Preparer Course, as you may guess, trains those wishing to prepare taxes in California for that state’s special requirements, and upon completion of the course automatically qualifies you for your California Tax Preparer’s License.
For review our Schoolhouse Crew was offered the opportunity to take the complete Federal Income Tax Course which retails for $495.00 with two years post-graduate support or $795.00 with 4 years post-graduate support.
We were asked to consider that the suggested time for each of the 20 units is 8 hours to fully read, study, take the practice exam, then complete the exam for mailing in. While we were not expected to complete the full course in the 6 week review period (or less depending on when the package actually arrived at the reviewer’s homes!), we were asked to complete as much as time allowed to get a good feel for the program, and then continue to complete the program at our own pace so that we could be prepared to take and pass the RTRP exam and be working tax preparers if desired.
As I considered my busy schedule, I also thought about my long term desire to know and really understand more about income tax preparation. As I have looked into starting my own business in the past, my lack of business education and, in particular, not understanding how the tax laws would effect it all have greatly deterred my progress. I felt I could certainly dedicate at least 8 hours a week to studying.
When my first box arrived in the mail, it contained a nice, thick binder containing the Federal Income Tax Course Assignments 1-20.
After a few weeks into the course, I received another package containing the Final Examination, Certificate Order Form, and a packet of Practical Case Studies, Guide to State Personal Income Taxes, and an IRS Licensing Information Bulletin on registering to take an Enrolled Agent Special Enrollment Exam. Also included was a softcover step-by-step guide entitled Building, Marketing & Operating a Profitable Tax Practice, and the RIA 2012 Federal Tax Handbook.
Normally in the course the second package is mailed after you complete your 17th lesson. They provide a form to send in to receive it. The purpose in waiting on this portion is so that you may have the very newest and updated tax information.
We also received access to an online version of the program complete with practice exams as well as the actual lesson exam that can be submitted online instead of mailed in.
Check out Income Tax Course Outline to see all of the specific topics covered. It’s a very complete course!
My National Tax Training School Adventure:
I was pretty nervous to receive this course after making the decision to commit the time and priority. But I have always really wanted to understand and learn more about taxes, and particularly business taxes. My schedule this time of year is super busy with County Fair prep, including our County Horse Show. 4-H is a huge part of our family and fills up our calendar fast once the school year gets up and going. After much consideration, I decided I could at least commit 8 hours per week to studying, and then maybe more once our schedule allowed.
When I received this course, I was pretty excited to begin reading through it and getting started. But just as one of the recommendations was to set aside a quiet place and definite time to study, I figured out pretty quickly that I must indeed have a quiet place, uninterrupted to be able to focus and concentrate.
While this is interesting material, it’s also a bit dry and every page is just packed to the gill with information. It’s a bit overwhelming for a scientific mind to process a business tract program, and an impossibility in the midst of my noisy, busy, household and ranch. Back in the day I was able to study late night hours, but found that doesn’t work so well with my current lifestyle (Ok, I admit I’m getting old). I fell asleep the first several times I tried to take advantage of night hours. 🙂 Early morning hours didn’t work too well either and I just couldn’t really set a scheduled time. My schedule has ended up working better in blocks doing several lessons at once (so far).
It took me awhile to get through the first lesson and be able to focus so I could get through the practice test, but once I was finally able to settle in and just do it, I didn’t have any problem going through the test. After completing the test, I put it in the envelope provided and added the postage. While I was in the groove and had the quiet time available I went ahead and completed another lesson and exam and got it ready to mail out as well. I felt a bit of excitement as I mailed my first exams off to be graded! It took a little over a week for me to receive them back all graded and I got two A’s and and A+. (I had time to complete the third lesson the very next day and mail it off, and got them all back together:)). Now that I have gotten started pretty well I have been able to carve out more time to study and focus. While I certainly won’t be finishing the short course in 8 weeks, I can definitely see that is a very real possibility for someone with the time and dedication to make this a priority, and a business could be opened and earning income in just a few short months. For me, I’ll continue at my have-time pace and will complete the course probably within 6 months or so at least.
I have learned quite a bit about taxes from the very first lesson that I really didn’t know before and so much has been clarified for me. While I understand this information is readily available, it’s summed up nicely and accurately in this material and very easy to read through.
I totally believe this would be a real consideration for anyone wanting to start a business on the side to make extra money and provide a valuable service in their community. It really is worth the time investment and a I believe anyone willing to invest the time and attention could excel and become a trained tax professional using this program. Even if a business venture is not on your plate, this program is worth the information alone to be able to really understand how our income tax system really works, and knowing the ins and outs can certainly be to your advantage as you part with that hard earned income. It will be nice to have the peace of mind knowing I’m not having to give more than my fair share of money away.
The instructors and program managers are very professional and helpful at the tax school. They have now developed a website with the entire text of the program online where you can do your studying, take the practice exam, then take the lesson exam and submit it online for grading instead of mailing it in. It’s very easy to navigate, but I actually really prefer having the black and white text pages to flip through, and I kinda like the old school filling out paper tests, and got a little thrill out of seeing that big red A on the top on my returned exam, LOL. 🙂
If you’re looking for a side job, a regular job, or to further your knowledge of income taxes, this is a great course for you to check out!
Be sure to check out my Crew Mates‘ Adventures with National Tax Training School over our our Schoolhouse Blog!
~Disclaimer- I received this complete course as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received and opinions are my own.