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Job Description and Requirements for Becoming a Tax Accountant

Job Descriptions January 3, 2013

Clients rely on tax accountants to assist them with their income and financial statements. The work week for these professionals are comparable to those who work in other occupations, except during the tax season; they are required to work longer hours. In this article, we will look at the career path of a tax accountant and discuss what an aspiring tax accountant must do in order to pursue their career.

Tax Accountants’ Job Description

Individuals, organizations and businesses depend on tax accountants to prepare their local, state and federal tax returns. Due to these job requirements; tax accountants are required to have extensive knowledge about government regulations and business concepts. Clients can rely on tax accountants for advice on minimizing tax liability, and information about any tax changes that could affect their business; such clients will require tax accountants to assist them with ensuring compliance with taxing agencies. Tax accountants are required to get involved in any audits or disputes that may affect their clients.

Job Growth Potential

An encouraging job growth of twenty-two percent has been projected for auditors and accountants during the decade from 2008 to 2018 (source: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). This is due to the growth of small businesses that lead to growing demand for accountants to manage their financial matters.

Wage Potential

The average annual salary for most tax accountants ranges from $34,789 to $65,643 (source: Payscale.com). A higher average annual salary is earned by tax accountants who rise to the ranks of tax director or senior tax accountant.

Educational Prerequisites

Employers require potential tax accountants to have completed a bachelor degree program, at the bare minimum. Aspiring tax accountants can seek bachelor degree programs in accounting or related specialties such as business administration. Those who want to complete a master program in accountancy should consider a course that includes a tax specialty. Typically, coursework of such programs covers topics such as taxation, auditing and financial planning; this is in addition to courses in statistics and business calculus.

Certification and Licensure Norms

Tax accountants must seek licenses from their state boards to practice as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), this is mandatory for the filing of reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Licensure norms are different in every state, but in most states, completion of one hundred fifty semester hours is mandatory that is thirty hours over the requirement for completion of a four-year degree program. Most states seek two years’ experience of accounting work. Once they have satisfied the eligibility criteria, candidates will be allowed to take the CPA exam conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (www.aicpa.org). Once they have earned certification, continuing education by CPAs are required to maintain their credentials.

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