Tax Preparer Salary (United States)

The average Tax Preparer in the United States earns approximately $11.81 per hour. The pay spectrum stretches from $8.12 per hour to $22.35. In the world of Tax Preparers, total cash compensation ranges from $20,154 on the lower end to $68,131 on the higher end; this includes bonuses that peak near $4,862 and profit sharing that approaches $10,101, with some high rollers snagging commissions as high as $18,071. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by location, but tenure and the specific company are influential factors as well. In this profession, 20 percent individuals enjoy medical and dental coverage, and less than 10 have vision insurance, as well. For the most part, Tax Preparers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Tax Preparer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$20,154 - $68,131
(Median)
20K
29K
40K
51K
68K
MEDIAN: $39,888
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Tax Preparer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$8.12 - $22.35
(Median)
8
12
16
22
MEDIAN: $11.00
10%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$20,154 - $68,131  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,862  
Profit Sharing
$50.68 - $10,101  
Commission
$150.00 - $18,071  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$17,377 - $56,043  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 356
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$8.12 - $22.35  
   
Overtime
$12.04 - $33.00  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,862  
   
Commission
$150.00 - $18,071  
Profit Sharing
$50.68 - $10,101  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$17,377 - $56,043  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,232
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Job Description for Tax Preparer

A tax preparer assists an individual, a company, or organization in setting up and writing an accurate income tax return to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year. Preparers must make sure the entity for which the tax forms are being prepared pays the lowest taxes allowed by law; they must do this while ensuring that any deductions, exemptions, or claims adhere to current tax laws.
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Tax Preparer Tasks
  • Examine receipts, paystubs, and other documentation to fill out financial forms.
  • Apply deductions and credits according to regulations.
  • Fill out, complete, and submit tax returns.

Common Career Paths for Tax Preparer

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Tax Preparers may receive a large increase in pay with career advancement. Those who transition into an upper level Tax Manager position may earn an additional $61K per year. Tax Preparers can earn $34K or $14,391 more per year when they move into roles as Senior Tax Accountants or Staff Accountants, a common transition for those in the field.

Tax Preparer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Tax Preparer

Though heading up the field in terms of compensation—HR Block offers the highest median salary at $24,170—pay within the company still varies considerably, starting at $16,526 and reaching $88K.
Not only do salaries lack room to grow—pay ranges from $16,325 to just $27K—but Liberty Tax Services, Inc. offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $20,291. Workers also receive paychecks lighter than average at H&R Block ($21,114) and Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, Inc ($21,621).

Popular Skills for Tax Preparer

Tax Preparers report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Tax Consulting, Quickbooks, Bookkeeping, and Tax Compliance are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 18 percent, 16 percent, 12 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Customer Service. Those familiar with Customer Service also tend to know Tax Compliance.

Pay by Experience Level for Tax Preparer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many but not all Tax Preparers, a key factor in salary decisions is experience; more experience generally yields higher pay. Beginning workers can expect to earn $24K starting out, which grows to $33K after five to 10 years. After spending one to two decades on the job, pay usually hovers around $39,968. Pay continues to grow for Tax Preparers after two decades on the job, and average earnings come to $49K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 17 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 12 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than 10. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; a majority of respondents fit between this range.

Pay Difference By Location

San Francisco
up arrow 81%
New York
up arrow 40%
Los Angeles
up arrow 33%
San Diego
up arrow 30%
Portland
up arrow 13%
Appleton
up arrow 10%
Santa Rosa
up arrow 9%
Lincoln
up arrow 9%
Chicago
up arrow 3%
National Average
$29,000
Memphis
up arrow 13%
San Antonio
up arrow 17%
Houston
up arrow 34%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Tax Preparers, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 81 percent above the national average. Other big spenders include New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Portland, top-paying cities where Tax Preparers see paychecks higher than average (+40 percent, +33 percent, +30 percent, and +13 percent). The lowest-paying market is Houston, which sits 34 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Employers in San Antonio and Memphis also lean toward paying below-median salaries (-17 percent and -13 percent, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Tax Preparer Salaries

National Average
$29,000

Skills That Affect Tax Preparer Salaries

Tax Preparation
up arrow 4%
National Average
$29,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 288 votes.

Gender

Female
69%
female alumni
 
Male
31%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 20% dental benefits Dental: 12%
vision benefits Vision: 8% employee benefits None: 80%
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