What Is the National Bookkeepers Association (NBA) Tax Certification Exam?


Tax preparation and bookkeeping are high-demand skills, especially given the ever evolving mass of federal, state, and local regulations on business finances. Strict laws govern record keeping and reporting practices, and it’s vital that businesses have the resources necessary to help them comply. This is where bookkeepers come in.

A bookkeeper manages and keeps records of accounts, transactions, and budgets in order to ensure both efficient operation of a business and full regulatory compliance. Since they organize financial records, bookkeepers benefit greatly from a working knowledge of tax law.

Tax Certification

For those seeking a career in tax preparation or bookkeeping, certification by the NBA (National Bookkeepers Association) lends a great deal of credibility. To receive NBA Tax Certification, one must pass their Tax Certification Exam. This exam evaluates your knowledge on various tax topics, including the laws and regulations on how different income types are handled under tax law and what those income types entail.

The Exam

The Tax Certification Exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions, including simulations. These questions test your knowledge of various topics, including:

  • Federal taxation and tax law
  • Tax research and practice
  • Individual taxation
  • Gross income and exclusions
  • Deductions, including trade and business deductions, itemized deductions, and losses
  • Tax credits and prepayments

To pass the exam, you must take the exam within a year of purchase and get 75% or more of the questions correct. This translates into a score of at least 37 right out of 50. The NBA charges $150 for the exam ($100 if you’re a member) with a $75 charge to retake it ($50 for members). The exam is taken online through the Accounting Training and Testing Center (ATTC).

Benefits and Preparation

Upon passing the exam, you get an NBA Tax Certification Certificate and rights to use their tax certification logo. This certification set you apart and verifies your tax knowledge.

Many programs can help you prepare for the Tax Certification Examination. Ashworth College offers an online tax preparer course that will help you get the knowledge you need to pass the exam.