Since 2015, the IRS has encouraged taxpayers to “select return preparers carefully and seek those with professional credentials or other select qualifications.” Now more than ever, taxpayers want evidence that their tax preparers are competent and professional. In addition to education and certifications, joining professional tax associations is one way you can prove your credibility to potential clients.
Other benefits of joining professional associations include:
- Networking opportunities with other tax professionals
- Continuing education and conferences, often at a discount
- Access to industry publications
- Additional professional credentials and certifications
To help you find a professional association that fits your career goals and level of expertise, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most well-respected associations for tax professionals.
The AICPA is one of the largest and most influential professional associations in accounting. Membership is only open to CPAs and students and professionals who are pursuing the CPA credential. Annual fees vary according to your industry and professional role.
The LTPA offers continuing education courses in English and Spanish, making them the only bilingual source of U.S. professional tax education. VIP membership costs $179 and comes with a free course of your choice, including an Annual Filing Season Program course. Their Latino Tax Fest is one of the largest annual professional tax events. If you partner with TaxSlayer Pro and LTPA, you will receive a 20% off discount on all education resources.
One of the largest and most-well known tax associations, the NATP is open to all tax professionals, regardless of your credentials or level of experience. Membership fees start at $95 per year.
Like the AICPA, the NCCPAP is specifically for CPAs. In addition to continuing education and annual professional events, a major draw if the NCCPAP is their online community, which enables you to view the profiles of and network with other CPAs. Membership is $335 per year.
The NSA is committed to helping taxpayers find reputable and educated tax professionals. Membership in this very well-respected association will go a long way in boosting your credibility. To join, you will need a certain level of experience, education, or certification. You can learn more about their membership requirements here.
All tax professionals can join the NSTP, and full memberships are $155 per year. In addition to education opportunities, NSTP membership also comes with 12 free questions to their tax helpline to help you quickly resolve questions as you prepare returns.