Tax accountants fill a very important role in both business and personal accounting: dealing with the IRS. Whether it’s for a multi-national corporation or an individual family, preparing tax documents and minimizing tax liabilities is their specialty. If you are considering a career in tax accounting, here is what to expect.
What Sets Tax Accountants Apart?
Although tax accountants must have a firm grasp on the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) used by businesses to keep the books and prepare financial statements, they are unique among accountants for their expertise in a separate set of principles used for preparing tax documents. One example of these differences would be a documented expense for a company that does not qualify as a tax-deductible expense such as fines, capital expenses, and club dues. The financial statements will have it recorded as an expense where the tax documents will not.
Who Hires Tax Accountants?
Large corporations hire tax accountants who work full time to keep up with the company’s taxation needs. Although the federal filing season may be the busiest, other corporate responsibilities also include sales taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, and more.
Tax accountants can also work independently or as part of a firm of consultants who prepare tax returns and provide planning and advice to small businesses that do not need a full-time tax accountant. In this case, you would work with several different businesses throughout the year to ensure their tax liabilities are met.
Experienced tax accountants can also secure positions with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to serve as compliance officers, auditors, and IRS agents who process incoming tax returns. The IRS also employs tax specialists who help taxpayers file returns and stay in compliance with tax laws and codes.
A career in tax accounting usually begins with a bachelor’s degree in accounting that includes tax accounting courses. Entry-level tax accounting positions with large corporations and consulting firms hire BA graduates and help them learn the ropes while on the job. From here, tax accountants can build on their educational background to climb the accounting ladder to higher positions.
One commonly earned credential is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which you become eligible for after meeting the 150-hour requirement in Massachusetts. (CCE prepares students for meeting this requirement by designing a concentrated set of ten courses/30 credits beyond the Bachelors Degree.) Tax accountants with a bachelor’s degree and a few years of experience can request certifications as an Accredited Tax Advisor or Accredited Tax Preparer from the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation.
A Rewarding Career
One of the most important traits of a successful tax accountant is the ability to keep information confidential. When individuals and companies disclose financial information for tax purposes, they must come clean about everything. Maintaining this confidentiality is essential to keeping the trust of your clients and employers.
Tax accountants must also enjoy ongoing educational opportunities as tax laws and codes are continually changing. Keeping your clients compliant means staying on top of changes as they happen. It is also important to naturally be an organized, structured person who relishes getting the smallest details perfect. Also, in contrast to the stereotypical tax accountant crunching numbers in the corner, you’ll need great communication skills as you work with people to understand their financial situations and transactions and explain confusing tax-related lingo to your clients and employers.
In exchange, tax accountants with a bachelor’s degree can expect to start out between $50k and $60k per year. Consultants have the potential to earn more, especially if they work independently and acquire a broad clientele. With a bit of experience, senior-level tax accountants can expect a boost up to $75k annually, with certain specialists and multi-national tax accountants easily earning a six-figure salary.
The field of accounting is mostly made up of general principles and fundamental practices that apply to all areas of the industry. The Certificate in Accounting from CCE @ Assumption will provide a foundation of accounting standards to get you started. To jump start your career as a tax accountant, you can s specialize with a certificate in Accounting in our Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. This coursework will provide marketable skills within the Accounting field.