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Salary Information for Tax Examiners

Career News November 15, 2013

Tax examiners are among the most feared agents in the country. The only thing that might strike up more fear in your heart than a tax audit is someone from the Weather Channel, setting up in your front yard! However, there is nothing too scary about examiners, which is a profession steeped in paperwork and fact-checking. This is an industry assisted by computers, but one that still requires receipt study of a person’s purchases. All of this paper trail ends up in the government coffers, and it makes the system go round in round.

How Much Can an Examiner Make?

The median salary for a tax examiner was $50,000 in 2010, with the top 10% earning in excess of $92,000. That is a comfortable salary, but when you include government benefits, it looks better. The government is and will be the primary market for tax examiners. However, a few will be chosen, by businesses, to become the first line of defense against government auditors. They are a small subset of the group, and one career path to consider.

A state or federal tax examiner starts by working with individual tax returns. If you take on this project, you will enter at the entry-level then work progressively to handling more complex returns. This can be stressful since it’s your job to disallow deductions and gain more income for the government. On the other side, businesses are hiring experienced tax examiners to find ways to build firewalls around their earnings.

An experienced examiner may gain employment with a multinational company. The business side is more lucrative, and since titles may change, definitive income potential is difficult to know. It is your job to anticipate the red pencil of the government auditor. This can be done with long hours of absolute concentration, using spreadsheets, computers, and mountains of tax codes.

Considering the Tax Examine Outlook

With the median income around $50,000, employment of tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents is expected to grow 7% between 2010 and 2020, which is slower than the overall market. However, those projections were made before the advent of the “Affordable Care Act,” which requires large numbers of tax examiners to work. The states will also need new personnel to make the system work, so jobs will likely be average or above, over the next decade.

A bachelor’s degree is required. The government, on any level, requires documentation of skills and abilities. You are obligated to present an approved paper trail that illustrates how well you know the process. An internship or enrollment in specific classes would be helpful. You may be required to move nearly anywhere if you are chosen by the federal government or live in a more rural area working for a state, but that changes as your experience grows. The career of a tax examiner requires the same patience and planning as the work itself.

The benefits of working for the government may suppress income, to a degree, but the median rate of $50,000 per year is an attractive figure and certainly a stable option. If you choose this profession, you are unlikely to get rich, but you will have employment opportunities that span a lifetime, which can be personally rewarding.

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