Tax accountants work with individuals, businesses and organizations to prepare tax returns due to the federal, local and state governments. Accountants who specialize in taxation issues must know both sides of the equation: government regulations and ethical business concepts. They are able to advise clients about how to minimize tax liability and dispense information about tax changes that impact those clients.
Expectations are that the tax accountant has a bachelor’s degree to pursue a career in this field. This student might come through an accounting program or other majors like business management or finance. Those coming out of college with majors other than accounting could study for a master’s degree in accounting with a concentration in taxation.
A concentration in taxation usually includes courses in financial planning, auditing, business statistics and calculus. The most popular master’s degree programs have a physical location and/or an online course of study. Three top educational institutions for an accounting degree in the United States are:
• Southern New Hampshire University
• Strayer University
• Grand Canyon University
Careers in Taxation Accounting
In spite of the economic impact on jobs across the board, careers in accounting are not suffering in the same way as other industries. Predictions are for growth this field of at least 16 percent during the decade from 2010-2020. More people seek professional help with taxes during bad times – possibly to maximize their refunds.
Companies are hiring smart, detail-oriented graduates to help them stay within federal and state guidelines. More positions are opening due to the retirement of baby boomers making room for the graduates coming into the workplace. Since education is the key, therefore it is important to aim for the master’s degree and be flexible with the tasks you are able to perform.
The annual earnings for all fields of accounting is quite rewarding with the median amount being $61,700 in 2010, which is the latest year information was available. Approximately half of the tax professionals earned more than that and the other half earned less. The range of earnings is just under $39,000 up to $106,900.
Most accountants work 40 hours per week with 20 percent working more than that. Longer hours are certain for everyone when the budget year ends for a client as well as during the tax season from late January to early May. The deadline for extension tax reporting is mid-October and overtime enters the picture once again.
Taxation accountants often work with others in the field, especially bookkeepers and audit clerks. On occasion they may require the expertise of budget analysts, cost estimators, financial analysts, forensic accountants, tax examiners and revenue agents. Certified Public Accountants perform a broad range of tasks, especially financial documents that their clients must disclose by law.
Accounting in general requires strong math skills, good communication and attention to detail. The field of taxation accounting is great for those able to demonstrate those skills. If you are proficient in all skills required, your career will reward you with grateful clients.