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Tax Preparer Assistant

Pathway Certificate

10 Credits | 1 year part time

Ashland*, New Richmond*, Rice Lake*, Superior*, Online

Outreach Centers: Balsam Lake*, Hayward*, Ladysmith*

*Combination of Online, Your Choice or On Site instruction. Select courses available at the Northwood Tech Outreach Centers. Please contact your local campus for specifics.

Begin your accounting career by completing three courses to earn your Tax Preparer Assistant certificate. The Tax Preparer Assistant Career Pathway option connects you to progress levels of coursework to allow you to build upon your education.

Program Overview

When you’ve completed the Tax Preparer Assistant pathway certificate, you have the basic knowledge to prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses.

Program Outcomes

Tax Preparer Assistant graduates will be able to:

  • Process financial transactions throughout the accounting cycle
  • Perform individual and/or organizational tax accounting preparation, reporting and analysis tasks
  • Practice completing and filing individual federal and Wisconsin income tax returns through project-based learning.
  • Program courses are current and relevant to today’s tax accounting field and students practice and apply accounting principles in real world situations.
  • Take your classes in a variety of options to fit your lifestyle. Options include online, classroom or Flex. 
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Learn by doing.

1040 tax documents

Real-world applications.

Business professionals in a group meeting

Live your life. 


In the Tax Preparer Assistant pathway certificate you’re taught accounting principles, including payroll tax principles, special procedures and financial statement, along with how to use beginning accounting software.

Tax Preparer Assistant classes are offered on all campuses (Ashland, New Richmond, Rice Lake and Superior) and outreach centers Balsam Lake, Hayward, Ladysmith. Conveniently take classes in a way that fits your lifestyle: Online, Your Choice or On Site. 

Experienced Instructors

Northwood Tech is large enough to serve you but small enough to know you. The experienced accounting faculty are knowledgeable, approachable, and eager to help. The sizes of your classes will allow for the attention you deserve.

Career Pathways

As an Tax Preparer Assistant student at Northwood Tech, you can add to your credentials! Graduates of the Tax Preparer Assistant can continue their education to earn the Accounting associate degree. 

Club Activities

You can join the Business Professionals of America and participate in statewide competitions and a number of charity projects like Special Olympics and the Pregnancy Help Center. In addition, there are a number of other clubs to join including the Business Club, Veteran’s Club and Student Senate.


When you complete the Tax Preparer Assistant Pathway Certificate you’ll be able to process financial transactions throughout the accounting cycle and perform individual and/or organizational tax accounting preparation, reporting and analysis-type tasks.

Explore the Curriculum

Featured Tax Preparer Assistant Courses

| 4 CR
Complete accounting cycle, special journals, payroll tax principles, special procedures, and financial statements. Accounting applications through practice set approach.
| 4 CR
This course will prepare you to complete and file individual federal and Wisconsin income tax returns including the 1040EZ/WIZ, 1040A/1A, and 1040/1 with most common supporting schedules. This course is lecture- and project-based with most returns done manually and some comprehensive problems being computerized.
| 2 CR
Students will learn the QuickBooks accounting software by performing tasks that involve the general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory, payroll, and financial statements. Students will be responsible for finding and correcting errors in the QuickBooks program. PREREQUISITE: 10101101 Financial Accounting 1 or 10101176 Financial Accounting 1A.

Tax Preparer Assistant is Part of a Career Pathway

As a Tax Preparer Assistant student at Northwood Tech, you can earn credentials each step of the way. 

Download Career Pathway Map

You could take this first and get a credential.

Pathway Certificate
10 Credits / 1 Year Part Time
Potential Careers
Tax Associate, Tax Preparer
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Technical Diploma
30 Credits
Potential Careers
Accounting Clerk, Accounts Receivable Clerk, Accounts Payable Clerk, Payroll Clerk, Tax Accounting Clerk
Range of Yearly Salary
$23,918-$80,000 Annually
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You can continue your education to advance your skills.

Associate Degree
60 credits
Potential Careers
Bookkeeper, Accounts Receivable Specialist, Accounts Payable Specialist, Payroll Specialist, Cost Accounting Specialist, Tax Accounting Specialist
Range of Yearly Salary
$33,277-$60,315 Annually
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Transfer your credits to obtain your bachelor's degree.

Accounting Transfer Options

UW-Stout | UW-Superior | UW-Whitewater | UM Crookston | Bellevue University | Concordia University | Franklin University | Lakeland University | Milwaukee School of Engineering | Northland College+

Admissions and Tuition

To apply for a certificate, just fill out an application form either online or at a campus, and Northwood Tech will guide you from there. 

Tuition and Fees

Northwood Tech breaks down the cost of education, so you'll have a good idea of how much your education will cost.

Learn More About Paying for College


Estimated Total Program Costs 2021-22*

Tax Preparer Assistant

10 Credits | Less than 1 year


*Tuition is an estimate and does not include any miscellaneous fees for various courses, tools, books, supplies or uniforms. Program book costs are in addition to tuition and fees and vary depending on course selection and where the books are purchased or rented. 

After the Northwood Tech Tax Preparer Assistant Program

Upon completion of the program, you will obtain a Tax Preparer Assistant certificate. 

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Transfer Options

Transfer your Northwood Tech credits to a four-year college in Wisconsin to obtain your bachelor's degree and beyond. 

View Transfer Options

Career Outlooks

Northwood Tech's graduates experience success. Learn more about the types of careers you can get after graduation.

View Career Options

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Ready to join Northwood Tech's successful graduates? Easily apply today.


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Attend an event or schedule a campus tour/program shadow.

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Finding the class you want to take has never been easier. 

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Choose a campus to view contact information, or for general assistance, please contact us.

Rice Lake Admissions Contact

Tia Dietz

Admissions Advisor

800.243.9482 ext. 5220


Ashland Admissions Contact

Jennifer Bednarik

Admissions Advisor

800.243.9482 ext. 3195


New Richmond Admissions Contact

Jodi Saliny

Admissions Advisor

800.243.9482 ext. 4339


Superior Admissions Contact

Mary Glad

Admissions Advisor

800.243.9482 ext. 6243


Take the Next Step

Are you ready to experience success? Northwood Tech staff are standing by to support you in reaching your educational and career goals, so do it. Take the leap.