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Comprehensive Tax Course


Comprehensive Tax Course

Learn to prepare tax returns for most Form 1040 individual, non-business taxpayers and small business taxpayers (self-employed/Schedule C). Learn how to research tax issues.



Access Length

6 Months


Mentor Supported


Course Overview

  • CTEC and OBTP Approved

Course Outline:

Chapter 1: General Material
  • Determine who should file a return.
  • Identify what filing status the taxpayer should use.
  • Determine what IRS forms to use.
  • Identify filing requirements for most taxpayers and their dependents.
  • Determine the due dates of various tax forms.
  • Understand how to apply for an extension of time to file.
  • Differentiate various accounting periods and methods.
  • Understand the signature and identification number requirements of a paid preparer.
Chapter 2: Standard Deduction and Exemptions
  • Understand how to calculate the standard deduction.
  • Determine when to use the standard deduction.
  • Define what constitutes an exemption.
  • Identify when the taxpayer can claim an exemption.
  • Understand the support issues.
  • Understand the steps necessary to file a decedent’s tax return.
  • Identify the rules for tax withholding and estimated tax payments.
Chapter 3: Income
  • Identify various types of income such as employee compensation, fringe benefits, tips, alimony, and other income.
  • Identify where to report these forms of income.
  • Determine when it is appropriate to use Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ.
  • Be aware of Form 4137, Social Security Tax on Unreported Tip Income.
Chapter 4: Interest and Dividend Income
  • Know the different types of interest income.
  • Understand the difference between taxable and nontaxable interest.
  • Identify where to report interest income.
  • Understand how to report dividend income and nontaxable distributions.
  • Understand the client interview process.
Chapter 5: Earned Income Credit
  • Identify the definition of earned income for Earned Income Credit.
  • Describe the requirements for qualifying children for Earned Income Credit purposes.
  • Realize that taxpayers without children may qualify for the Earned Income Credit.
  • Determine how to complete Schedule EIC.
  • Identify where the Earned Income Credit appears on the Forms 1040 and 1040A.
  • Understand IRS due diligence requirements.Module 1 Final Exam
Chapter 6: Tax Credits — Child Care and Others
  • Describe the qualification requirements for various tax credits (Child Tax Credit, Child Care Credit, Credit for the Elderly and Disabled, the Additional Child Tax Credit and Education Credits).
  • Understand the requirements for Form 2441.
  • Prepare Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses and or Schedule 2.
  • Identify Form 8863, Education Credits.
  • Understand the requirements for IRS Form 1040, Schedule R, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.
  • Identify IRS Form 8812, Additional Child Tax Credit.
Chapter 7: Retirement Income and Other Types of Income
  • Recognize retirement income, including income from pensions, annuities, Social Security and equivalent retirement benefits. Students will learn how to “read” Forms 1099-R and SSA-1099.
  • Understand other types of income such as barter, partnership and recoveries.
  • Identify how to report rental of personal property, repayments, royalties, and income that is not taxed.
  • Determine where to report information from Forms 1099-R and SSA-1099 on the IRS Form 1040 series.
Chapter 8: Adjustments to Income
  • Understand the various adjustments to income, including Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs—Traditional and Roth) and SIMPLE IRAs.
  • Identify where to report these items on tax returns.
Chapter 9: Itemized Deductions
  • Determine whether standard or itemized deductions are the most advantageous for the taxpayer.
  • Identify what items qualify as taxes, and eligible interest deductions.
  • Name eligible medical expenses.
  • Understand the limitations on itemized deductions.
  • Calculate the value of charitable contributions and understand how to complete Form 8283.
  • Describe how to report casualties and thefts and how to complete Form 4684.
Chapter 10: Electronic Filing
  • Understand the rules and regulations governing electronic filing.
  • Describe the various methods of receiving a refund through electronic filing.
  • Identify the warning signs of taxpayer fraud.
  • Understand the requirements for signing electronic returns.
  • Identify how to correct an electronic return rejected by the IRS.
Chapter 11: Employee Business Expense and Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions
  • Describe expenses that qualify as employee business expenses.
  • Differentiate between the Standard Mileage Rate and the Actual Auto Expense methods of tracking auto expenses.
  • Identify what expenses are deductible for the business use of a home.
  • Describe deductible travel expenses and deductible entertainment expenses.
Chapter 12: Education Tax Benefits
  • Identify who can claim Education Tax Credits.
  • Define what expenses qualify under the available credits.
  • Differentiate between the Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • Name adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses.
  • Recognize the MAGI phase out limits for Educational Tax Credits.
  • Compute the Student Loan Interest Deduction.
  • Identify expenses which qualify for work-related education.
Chapter 13: Capital Gains and Losses
  • Define the terminology unique to Capital Gains and Losses.
  • Identify the capital gains tax rates.
  • Describe basis of property including inherited and gifted property.
  • Compute the basis of real estate and gain or loss on sale.
Chapter 14: Depreciation and Disposition of Business Property
  • Classify the different types of property eligible for depreciation.
  • Differentiate between various depreciation methods.
  • Describe repairs and replacements affect the basis of property.
  • Define the terminology unique to depreciation transactions.
  • Compute the Section 179 Deduction.
  • Introduce the students to disposition of business property
Chapter 15: Self-Employment Income
  • Provide the definition of a sole proprietor.
  • Differentiate between an independent contractor and statutory employee.
  • Describe the requirements for deducting self-employed health insurance and retirement plan contributions.
  • Differentiate between activities qualify as a business and which ones qualify as a hobby.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of selecting sole proprietorship as the form of business entity.
  • Differentiate between income and non income items.
  • Describe the Uniform Capitalization Rules.
  • Define the terminology unique to inventory valuation.
Chapter 16: Rental Property
  • Compile and report rental income.
  • Classify deductible rental expenses.
  • Describe examples of repairs and improvements to rental property.
  • Determine the nuances of renting vacation homes and other dwelling units.
  • Define the limits on rental and passive activity losses.
  • Describe the rules for property and how they may change if the taxpayer is a real estate professional.
Chapter 17: Farm Income
  • Emphasize the becoming an RTRP and maintaining a PTIN
  • Define the steps necessary to become an RTRP
  • Discuss tax return preparer requirements
  • Become familiar with RTRP Compentency Exam Information
  • Introduce study materials necessary to become an RTRP
  • Describe paid preparer responsibilities
Chapter 18: Alternative Minimum Tax, Less Common Credits and Penalties
  • Determine which taxpayers are affected by Alternative Minimum Tax.
  • Classify who is considered an innocent spouse and who is considered an injured spouse.
  • Define various credits such as the credit for electric vehicles.
  • Describe the various civil and criminal penalties for failure to comply with income tax laws.
Chapter 19: Payments, Extensions and Amended Returns
  • Compute the “kiddie” tax.
  • Describe how to file an amended return.
  • Define the due dates for tax payments.
  • Determine the “nanny” tax.
Chapter 20: Ethics and Responsibilities of Tax Professionals
  • Describe professional responsibilities in tax return preparation.
  • Determine the actions necessary to maintain client confidentiality.
  • Identify the requirements to practice before the IRS.

All necessary materials are included.

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