The Tax Preparation Certificate prepares students for entry-level employment as tax preparation paraprofessionals. Such tax preparers may be responsible for completing small business income tax returns, individual income tax returns, and payroll tax returns. This one-year certificate program is designed to accommodate those who are employed full-time or are attending college on a part-time basis seeking to upgrade their existing employment skills or begin a job as a tax preparer.

This program is available to be completed 100% online.

Program contact: Learn more

This certificate will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the certificate, please notify the Office of the Registrar at

Learn more here, here, here, here, and here about how certificate credits apply to the related degrees.

Program Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma/GED not required, but highly recommended.
  • ENG-0995 Applied College Literacies or appropriate score on English Placement Test. 
  • MATH-0955 Beginning Algebra or qualified Math Placement.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Communicate tax preparation information both verbally and in writing, relative to their knowledge and skill level with internal and external constituents, both inside and outside the field.
  2. Work collaboratively, professionally, ethically, and with fiduciary responsibility to prepare taxes in a manner that is within the appropriate professional code of conduct.
  3. Accurately record and apply fundamental tax preparation processes to properly prepare small business income-tax returns, individual income tax returns, and payroll tax returns.
  4. Utilize office suite products, including spreadsheets, database, word processing, presentation, and enterprise-wide technology along with proprietary tax preparation software to record and prepare small business income tax returns, individual income tax returns, and payroll tax returns.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
ACCT-1041 Individual Taxation 4
ACCT-1311 Financial Accounting 3
BADM-1020 Introduction to Business 3
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I
Honors College Composition I
Select one of the following: 3
Computer Applications
Honors Computer Applications
 Credit Hours16
Second Semester
ACCT-1030 Payroll 3
ACCT-2041 Business Taxation 4
BADM-2151 Business Law 3
ACCT-2XXX2000 level Accounting Elective 3
Select one of the following: 3
Business Communications
Honors Business Communications
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours32

MATH-1140, MATH-1141, MATH-1200, MATH-1270, and MATH-1280 can no longer count towards fulfilling the college-level mathematics requirement.  These courses were re-classified as developmental mathematics by the state of Ohio in 2016.  Tri-C established a 5-year transitioning window for students who had completed these courses prior to 2016 to apply them towards meeting graduation requirements, which expired in Summer 2021. It is highly recommended to see a counselor to determine the appropriate math required for your current major.