Oregon Tax Preparer Pre-License Training

At Your Pace Online has been approved by the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners (OBTP) to help prepare you for the Tax Preparer Licensing Exam as well as meet the state mandated education requirement. Our Basic Education Course as well as our CE courses (to renew your license) are all current to today's industry, convenient, & can be taken At Your Pace Online!


Oregon 80 Hour Basic Tax Course

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This course provides the 80 hours of basic education that is required in order for you to be able to sit for the Oregon Tax Practitioners exam and covers all of the major aspects of being a tax practitioner in Oregon, while helping you prepare for the state licensing exam - all at your own pace!

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Requirements to Obtain an Oregon Tax Practitioner License

Wondering how to become a tax preparer? This apprentice-level license allows you to work under a CPA, licensed tax consultant, or another individual with a higher level of licensure, giving you a chance to learn the ropes as you offer tax preparation services.

If you're interested in preparing taxes in the state of Oregon, you'll need to get licensed by the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners (OBTP). That means doing things like taking the right certified tax preparer courses and passing the OBTP's tax preparer examination.

It's important to get this licensure before offering tax preparation services to comply with both state and federal legislation. Don't worry. We have all the info you need to know gathered right here. Use this guide to figure out how to become a tax preparer with the license you need from the OBTP. 


What is a tax preparer?

First up, let's start with the basics. What does an Oregon tax preparer do, and what differentiates them from other Oregon tax professionals like enrolled agents or tax consultants?

For starters, when you have a tax preparer license, you need to work under the supervision of someone with a higher level of licensure. 

Appropriate supervisors include:

  • A certified public accountant (CPA)
  • A licensed tax consultant
  • A public accountant
  • An attorney who offers tax preparation services

As a tax preparer with the right supervisor, you can legally prepare federal and state tax returns.


Oregon tax preparer license requirements  

The OBTP requires a few things in order to be eligible for a tax preparer license. You need to:

  • Be at least 18
  • Have a high school diploma or pass an exam showing you have the equivalent of a high school education
  • Finish 80 hours of certified tax preparer courses and get a certificate of completion for that tax preparation training
  • Score a 75% or better on the Oregon tax preparer exam

So, if you're wondering how to become a tax preparer, you essentially have two to-dos: complete your Oregon tax preparer course hours and pass the exam. 

80 hours of certified tax preparer courses might sound like a lot, but we have good news. You can take your tax preparation training online. Instead of having to sit in a classroom for the equivalent of two full workweeks, you can knock out an hour here and an hour there whenever you have time, all from the comfort of your computer. 

However, you choose to take your certified tax preparer courses, make sure you choose an education provider that's approved by the OBTP. 

When you finish your coursework, make sure you get some paperwork from your education provider. You'll need to show the OBTP a certificate of completion for your 80 hours of tax preparation training before they'll issue your license. 

Also, keep in mind that your Oregon tax preparer course isn't just a box you need to check. It's also a great way to prepare for the Oregon tax preparer exam. If you pay attention during your Oregon tax preparer courses, you should have all the info you need easily score the 75% you need to pass. 

When you're ready to sit for your exam, start the process by filling out the Tax Preparer Examination Application. You'll need to include information about your 80 hours of tax preparer training and your education provider.


What can you do with a tax preparer license in Oregon?

With your tax preparer license, you can legally prepare personal income tax returns. And, more importantly, you can earn money for those tax preparation services.


Have there been any recent changes to the process of becoming a tax preparer?

Now, Oregon tax preparers need to get a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) from the IRS in order to prepare federal returns. And since we'd bet very few of your clients will just want help with their Oregon tax returns, this will be an important piece for you to have in place. 

Don't worry, it's not an overly complicated process to get your PTIN. You can apply for and get your PTIN online, and the entire process shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes.

Make a note, though, to renew your PTIN on an annual basis. Again, you can do this online. Just log in to your PTIN account with the information you used to apply for your PTIN in the first place. Once logged in, you'll be able to complete the PTIN renewal application, which is just a series of questions and the verification of your personal information. The IRS maintains a checklist of things you'll need to complete your renewal. 


What is the cost to obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN)?

More good news on the PTIN front: it's fairly affordable. The fee to get or renew your PTIN is $21.


How much does it cost to become a certified tax preparer in Oregon?

In order to get your tax preparer license, you'll need to pay for a few things. First, you'll need to pay to take your 80 hours of OBTP-approved tax preparation training. The amount you pay there depends on the price charged by the education provider you choose. 

Next, you'll need to pay $60 to apply to take the tax preparer exam.

Finally, you'll also pay $60 to get your license issued by the OBTP. 

All told, other than the cost of the 80-hour tax preparer training, you shouldn't have to pay too much to become a certified tax preparer. 

In summary, assuming you're 18 years old and have a high school diploma (or the equivalent), you're ready to start the process of getting licensed as an Oregon tax preparer. You'll need to find someone with the proper credentials to supervise your work. And you'll need to finish 80 Oregon tax preparer course hours and get at least 75% on the state tax preparer exam. 

Do those things and the OBTP should issue your license. With that in hand and your supervisor to oversee you, you can prepare personal income taxes throughout the state of Oregon.