By The Numbers: 16 Temporary Tax Season Jobs

Waving Liberty Income Tax signs around on street corners isn't the only available temporary job related to taxes. In fact, there are quite a few opportunities that don't require silly costumes or exposure to the elements. Given a dab of luck, such tax season jobs can stretch beyond February to become permanent.

With America's annual income tax revelry gearing up, you might be interested in some short-term ways to score cash off the misery of others. Please note: For a comprehensive listing of federal jobs, visit


1. Data Entry
The IRS and state revenue departments need keyboard data-entry workers to input the massive amounts of information coming their way. The work can be tedious, but it's not difficult and requires minimal training and experience.

2. Clerical Work
Mountains of paperwork require clerks to manage the overflow. You must have independent judgment and be able to accurately interpret policies and regulations. Fortunately, most agencies provide training as ever-shifting laws require constant updating.

3. Data Technicians
These positions require a firm grasp of data-processing systems, software and equipment, such as imaging and scanning devices. Duties are generally performed with a high degree of independence and usually involve quality control, system troubleshooting and planning. Data techs may serve as supervisors and such positions have good chances of turning into permanent jobs.

4. Tax Examiners
A much higher grade position, tax examiners review returns for proper preparation and accuracy. Duties usually involve review of returns and audit reports, as well as the preparation of bills for additional taxes due.

5. Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialists
College graduates and CPAs need only apply, but these positions pay well. Basic duties include assisting and advising taxpayers on a wide-range of IRS tax forms, notices and issues. You'll also research and respond to a variety of tax-law questions from the public. Patience is a requirement.


6. Bookkeepers
Bookkeepers make sure all administrative details are in compliance with state and federal laws, as well as with company policy.

7. Trainers
Trainers ensure each tax professional working for these "retail" firms is prepared to successfully complete tax returns at all levels. These positions usually begin early and finish early in the tax season.

8. Tax Processors
These clerical positions help companies prepare for tax processing and other tax-filing deadlines. A processor may be responsible for reviewing returns for accuracy and assisting with tax extensions.

9. Tax Preparers
These are the "Joe Jobs" of retail firms. Preparers will handle multiple returns each day, so be ready for a fast-paced environment. Employers look for people with a background in preparing returns for corporations, individuals and non-profit organizations. You'll often be expected to know such tax-preparation software as Ultra Tax or DRAKE, as well as state and federal online filing systems. Also keep an eye out for similar positions with non-profit organizations, such as your local library, senior centers and low-income clinics, although some of these opportunities may be strictly volunteer.

10. Entry Level Tax Preparers
Beginners need apply, although most companies will require a current tax preparer certification (CPEC). You'll primarily work on short-form returns, such as 1040 schedules A and C. Speaking both English and Spanish is a huge plus for these positions at offices nationwide.

11. Customer Service Reps
Man the frontlines by answering phones and assisting tax preparers and taxpayers with a plethora of questions. Usually a high-school diploma, customer-service experience and basic computer skills are all that's required. It helps to have a winning way with harried customers.

12. Office Leaders
Office leaders are responsible for the overall operation and results of retail tax offices, including daily supervision and motivation of everyone in the office.


13. Translators
Every American has to file taxes, no matter their language skills. The larger firms may hire tax preparers who are bi-lingual, but smaller companies call on contractors for assistance.

14. Accounting Assistants - Corporate or Small Business
These accounting assistants may be expected to compute, classify and record numerical data. Duties usually include routine calculating, posting and verifying accounting records, as well as checking the accuracy of transactions recorded by other workers.

15. Accounting Assistants - Small CPA Firms

Anticipate spending a lot of time with QuickBooks to enter client transactions and generate financial statements. Assistants usually assemble and organize clients' tax documents and input data into tax-preparation software. Some positions require assistants handle basic tax returns as well as standard clerical duties. Applicants will need a basic knowledge of accounting, taxes and spreadsheets.


16. Streetside Marketing

Like we said at the top, there's always lots of work for those willing to brave the elements dressed in silly costumes while twirling large signs. Liberty Income Tax is the best known company, thanks to their ubiquitous and nearly year-round sign wavers kited up in Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam outfits, but even small businesses have figured out streetside marketing is an inexpensive way to attract business.

Looking for something more permanent that doesn't require a lot of training, read "No Degree Required: Top 10 Paying Jobs."

Have we overlooked anything? We welcome your comments on other job opportunities, whether temporary, permanent or contract.

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