Tax Preparation Certificate Program

This program provides students with sufficient knowledge of Federal and State of California tax law to prepare individual and small business tax returns and to obtain an entry-level position as a tax preparer. This program at the current time does not certify individuals as a tax preparer in the State of California.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • Prepare a set of basic financial statements.
  • Calculate and analyze common ratios and numerical relationships that are produced through the accounting cycle.
  • Demonstrate applications of current federal and state tax law.
  • Analyze basic tax information and prepare related tax returns.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in communicating financial information in the subject area.
  • Present an oral presentation in the designated subject area.


Curriculum changes as industry standards transform. Please refer to the Saddleback College Catalog website as the following requirements may have changed since this webpage was published.

Course Guide

Course ID Title Units
ACCT 1A Financial Accounting 4
ACCT 216*  Individual Income Tax 4
ACCT 217*  Partnership and Corporate Taxation 3
BUS 13 Legal Environment and Business Law 3
CIMA 104+ Spreadsheets: Excel 3
CIMA 223A* Computerized Accounting QuickBooks-Beg. 1.5
CIMA 223B* Computerized Accounting QuickBooks-Adv. 1.5
Select from Restricted Electives 3
Total Required Units 21.5

*Course has a prerequisite, co-requisite, limitation, or recommended preparation; see course description in catalog.

Restricted Electives:

Course ID Title Units
ACCT 215 General Accounting 3
ACCT 235 Entrepreneurial Accounting 3


Suggested coursework not required for the major: ACCT 120, 202B, 203, 214, 215; BUS 1, 102, 103, 104, 125; CIM 1, 10, 112, CIMN 100, 100A, CIMA 104B*, 106; ECON 2, 4.