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Tax Preparer Salary (United States)

For Tax Preparers, hourly wages usually total $11.81 per hour. Total cash compensation for Tax Preparers runs from $17K to $56K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $5K and profit sharing that can reach almost $10K. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure and the individual firm. About one in five report receiving medical coverage from their employers and roughly one in eight collect dental insurance. The majority of Tax Preparers claim high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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%
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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  
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  
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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At the upper end, Tax Preparers who move into a Tax Manager role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The typical income for Tax Managers is $90K per year. Tax Preparers most often move into positions as Senior Tax Accountants or Staff Accountants; those groups report median salaries that are $34K higher and $14K higher, respectively.

Tax Preparer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Tax Preparer

Tax Preparers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at HR Block, where typical salaries come to $24K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($17K) and those starting out ($87K) creates a rather diverse pay scale.
Not only do salaries lack room to grow — pay ranges from $16K to just $27K — but Liberty Tax Services, Inc. offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $20K. Employees at H&R Block can also expect below-average earnings.

Popular Skills for Tax Preparer

Tax Preparers report using a pretty varied skill set 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. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Customer Service. Those educated in Customer Service tend to be well versed in Tax Compliance.

Pay by Experience Level for Tax Preparer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Tax Preparers with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $24K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $33K. On average, Tax Preparers make $40K following one to two decades on the job. Tax Preparers who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $49K. Between one and nine years is the typical spectrum of experience for those in this line of work — of those who took the survey, more than half land within it. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up around one in six of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise nearly one-eighth, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining approximately one-tenth.

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.
Surpassing the national average by 81 percent, Tax Preparers in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. 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). Tax Preparers in Houston earn salaries far below the national average by 34 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Employers also pay below the national average in San Antonio (17 percent lower) and Memphis (13 percent lower).

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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%