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Certification and Licensing Requirements
 
A tax preparer is an apprenticeship level for preparing personal income taxes. Tax preparers must work for a Licensed Tax Consultant or a CPA for at least two of the last five years and have gained at least 1100 hours of tax preparation experience within those years to qualify to sit for the consultant examination. You must be at least 18 years of age and have either a high school diploma or GED. To apply for the tax preparer's exam, you must first take and satisfactorily pass an approved 80 hour basic tax course. These courses may be taken through community colleges (there are usually two 4-credit hour courses given at the colleges, and each credit hour is worth 10 hours). There are also courses listed which are given by instructors that have been approved by the Tax Board. 
 
You need to apply for the exam at least 30 days prior to the date in which you wish to take the examination. If you, your school, or instructor does not have current applications, Oregon Revised Statutes (laws), Oregon Administrative Rules and/or the General Information Booklet, you can download them by clicking on each of the hyperlinks provided above. 
 
A tax consultant is considered to be at an experienced level for preparing personal income taxes, and can work on their own or as an employee. To become a consultant you must be at least 18 years of age and have either a high school diploma or GED. Along with your consultant examination application you must submit the verification of work experience form which indicates you have worked at least 1100 hours preparing personal income tax returns within two of the last five years. This experience can be gained either by working in Oregon as a tax preparer OR by working outside of Oregon, either as an employee or self-employed.
 
A person who is an enrolled agent with the federal government may take the state-only portion of the tax consultant's exam to become a Licensed Tax Consultant. There is no education requirement, once you have received your Treasury Card. A copy of your Treasury Card must be submitted with your exam application, along with a verification of work experience form which indicates you have worked at least 360 hours preparing personal income tax returns within two of the last five years. 
 
Examinees who take the preparer or consultant examination are allowed five (5) hours to take the examination. Examinees who take the state-only examination are allowed 1½ hours. Once you have been notified that you have passed the exam, you have 60 days to apply for your license, otherwise you will need to reapply, retake and successfully pass the examination again. Tax preparer applicants must send in a copy of their Basic Course Certificate with their initial license application.