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Associate Degree Programs in Accounting: Tax Specialist

Majors Overview April 24, 2013

In this article, students will learn about accounting associate degree programs with tax options. Students will obtain information on continuing education options, coursework, and career opportunities to make an informed decision about their education.

Associate Degree Program in Accounting

Associate degree program in accounting with specialization in tax may exist, but extremely rare. Often, students will find associate degree program in accounting with coursework designed to train aspiring tax preparers, or degree programs that enable students to transfer to an advanced program in accounting where specialization will be available. The accounting degree programs will prepare students for accounting certifications examinations and tax licensing. Students are required to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma to enroll in these programs.

Program Coursework

These programs usually concentrate on different aspects of accounting, such as taxation, along with law, accounting software, and fundamental business concepts. The following are the program course topics:

•Cost accounting
•Bookkeeping
•Human relations
•Fraud examination
•Payroll accounting
•Tax accounting

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Most tax preparers have several years of professional experience and hold a bachelor degree, although relevant work experience plus an associate degree may be sufficient for certain job opportunities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). From 2010 to 2020, employment rates in this field will increase by seven percent as predicted by the BLS. In 2010; revenue agents, collectors, and tax examiners average annual salary was $49,360 as reported by the BLS.

Certification Information and Continuing Education

An individual who wants to work legally as a tax preparer is required to register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), so they can obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number. Additionally, every state expects tax preparers to become certified through a state-level agency, such as a Board of Tax Practitioners, which will require future tax preparers to pass a tax preparer exam.

Aspiring tax specialist should consider transferring credits from an associate degree program to an accounting bachelor degree program because traditional educational expectation is a bachelor degree for most tax professionals, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, students will be able to enroll in a master degree program in accounting once they have completed the bachelor degree program; the program is designed to prepare students to become Certified Public Accountants (CPA) in their state.

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