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Become A Tax Accountant

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Working As A Tax Accountant

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $57,391

    Average Salary

What Does A Tax Accountant Do

A Tax Accountant prepares tax payments and returns for a company. They create tax data collection systems, complete required tax reporting in a timely manner, and coordinate audits through various taxation authorities.

How To Become A Tax Accountant

Most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Certification within a specific field of accounting improves job prospects. For example, many accountants become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).  


Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have a master’s degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting.

A few universities and colleges offer specialized programs, such as a bachelor’s degree in internal auditing. In some cases, those with associate’s degrees, as well as bookkeepers and accounting clerks who meet the education and experience requirements set by their employers, get junior accounting positions and advance to accountant positions by showing their accounting skills on the job.

Many colleges help students gain practical experience through summer or part-time internships with public accounting or business firms.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Every accountant filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required by law to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Many other accountants choose to become a CPA to enhance their job prospects or to gain clients. Many employers will often pay the costs associated with the CPA exam.

CPAs are licensed by their state’s Board of Accountancy. Becoming a CPA requires passing a national exam and meeting other state requirements. Almost all states require CPA candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college coursework to be certified, which is 30 hours more than the usual 4-year bachelor’s degree. Many schools offer a 5-year combined bachelor’s and master’s degree to meet the 150-hour requirement, but a master’s degree is not required.

A few states allow a number of years of public accounting experience to substitute for a college degree.

All states use the four-part Uniform CPA Examination from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Candidates do not have to pass all four parts at once, but most states require that they pass all four parts within 18 months of passing their first part.

Almost all states require CPAs to take continuing education to keep their license.

Certification provides an advantage in the job market because it shows professional competence in a specialized field of accounting and auditing. Accountants and auditors seek certifications from a variety of professional societies. Some of the most common certifications are listed below:

The Institute of Management Accountants offers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) to applicants who complete a bachelor’s degree. Applicants must have worked at least 2 years in management accounting, pass a two-part exam, agree to meet continuing education requirements, and comply with standards of professional conduct. The exam covers areas such as financial statement analysis, working-capital policy, capital structure, valuation issues, and risk management. 

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) to graduates from accredited colleges and universities who have worked for 2 years as internal auditors and have passed a four-part exam. The IIA also offers the Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), and Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) to those who pass the exams and meet educational and experience requirements.

ISACA offers the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) to candidates who pass an exam and have 5 years of experience auditing information systems. Information systems experience, financial or operational auditing experience, or related college credit hours can be substituted for up to 3 years of experience in information systems auditing, control, or security.

For accountants with a CPA, the AICPA offers the option to receive any or all of the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) certifications. The ABV requires a written exam, completion of at least six business valuation projects, and 75 hours of continuing education. The CITP requires 1,000 hours of business technology experience and 75 hours of continuing education. Candidates for the PFS also must complete a certain amount of work experience and continuing education, and pass a written exam.


Some top executives and financial managers have a background in accounting, internal auditing, or finance.

Beginning public accountants often advance to positions with more responsibility in 1 or 2 years and to senior positions within another few years. Those who excel may become supervisors, managers, or partners; open their own public accounting firm; or transfer to executive positions in management accounting or internal auditing in private firms.

Management accountants often start as cost accountants, junior internal auditors, or trainees for other accounting positions. As they rise through the organization, they may advance to accounting manager, chief cost accountant, budget director, or manager of internal auditing. Some become controllers, treasurers, financial vice presidents, chief financial officers, or corporation presidents.

Public accountants, management accountants, and internal auditors can move from one aspect of accounting and auditing to another. Public accountants often move into management accounting or internal auditing. Management accountants may become internal auditors, and internal auditors may become management accountants. However, it is less common for management accountants or internal auditors to move into public accounting.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to identify issues in documentation and suggest solutions. For example, public accountants use analytical skills in their work to minimize tax liability, and internal auditors use these skills to detect fraudulent use of funds.  

Communication skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to listen carefully to facts and concerns from clients, managers, and others. They must also be able to discuss the results of their work in both meetings and written reports.

Detail oriented. Accountants and auditors must pay attention to detail when compiling and examining documentation.

Math skills. Accountants and auditors must be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures, although complex math skills are not necessary.

Organizational skills. Strong organizational skills are important for accountants and auditors who often work with a range of financial documents for a variety of clients.

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Tax Accountant jobs

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Tax Accountant Career Paths

Tax Accountant
Accountant Senior Accountant
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Tax Manager Controller
Accounting Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Accountant-Contractor Staff Accountant
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Payroll Administrator Senior Accountant Assistant Controller
Assistant Director Of Finance
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Treasury Manager
Assistant Treasurer
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Accountant Finance Analyst
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Finance Manager General Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Account Manager Billing Specialist
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Senior Treasury Analyst
Cash Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accountant Accounting Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Controller
Interim Controller
15 Yearsyrs
Payroll Supervisor Accounting Assistant Accountant Assistant
Management Accounts Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Controller Accountant-Contractor Staff Accountant
Payroll Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Tax Analyst Accountant
Senior Accountant
6 Yearsyrs
Controller Accounting Consultant Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Tax Accountant Tax Manager
Senior Tax Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Tax Analyst Senior Tax Analyst
Tax Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Accountant Business Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Tax Accountant Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • French

  • Cantonese

  • Russian

  • Japanese

  • Korean

  • Portuguese

  • German

  • Vietnamese

  • Arabic

  • Hindi

  • Indonesian

  • Italian

  • Amharic

  • Hebrew

  • Urdu

  • Polish

  • Swedish

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Tax Accountant Education

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Real Tax Accountant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Foreign Tax Accountant Fidelitas, LLC Boerne, TX Aug 20, 2015 $165,000 -
Senior Manager, Global Tax Technology Strategy Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 30, 2016 $142,000
Tax Accountant Oracle America, Inc. CA May 11, 2015 $135,000 -
Federal Tax IT Solution General Electric Company Albany, NY May 12, 2016 $130,000
Manager, Tax Technology KPMG LLP Montvale, NJ Feb 05, 2015 $129,418
Credit Fund Tax Accountant Fig LLC New York, NY Jan 14, 2016 $117,437 -
Tax Accountant-FIN Oracle America, Inc. CA Feb 28, 2015 $115,000 -
Manager, Tax Technology KPMG LLP Denver, CO Mar 19, 2015 $112,965
Credit Fund Tax Accountant Fortress Investment Group LLC New York, NY May 15, 2015 $109,554
Tax Accountant Weisermazars LLP New York, NY Aug 23, 2016 $105,000
Tax Accountant-FIN Oracle America, Inc. CA Oct 01, 2015 $101,421 -
Manager, Tax Technology Park Hotels & Resorts Inc. Memphis, TN Nov 11, 2016 $100,786
Senior Manager, Global Tax Technology Strategy Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Bentonville, AR Mar 28, 2016 $100,108
Manager, Tax Technology Hilton Worldwide Memphis, TN Feb 09, 2016 $98,634
Staff Tax Accountant Price Kong & Co., CPA's, P.A. Phoenix, AZ May 05, 2016 $66,394
Tax Accountant Swicker & Associates, Accountancy Corporation Los Angeles, CA Sep 20, 2016 $66,000
Tax Accountant Bhatia and Bhatia, PC Arlington, MA Sep 05, 2015 $65,427
Tax Accountant Bhatia & Bhatia PC Arlington, MA Dec 16, 2015 $65,208
Tax Accountant Citco Fund Services (USA) Inc. Jersey City, NJ Feb 11, 2015 $65,000
Tax Accountant Weisermazars LLP New York, NY Oct 05, 2015 $65,000
Tax Accountant Glovis America Inc. Irvine, CA Jul 27, 2015 $65,000
Tax Accountant Daniel Wing-Yu Ng PLLC New York, NY Jun 09, 2016 $56,871
Tax Accountant Year Round Tax Services San Francisco, CA Sep 15, 2015 $56,370
Tax Accountant Daniel Wing-Yu Ng PLLC New York, NY May 09, 2016 $56,349
Tax Accountant Schneider Downs & Co., Inc. Columbus, OH May 25, 2015 $56,222 -
Tax Accountant Kustov and Associates Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 12, 2015 $56,181
Tax Accountant Northwest Tax Advisors LLC Mercer Island, WA Jan 15, 2016 $56,160
Tax Accountant Global Mobility Tax, LLP Los Altos, CA Sep 12, 2015 $55,786 -
Tax Accountant Triangle Accounting, Inc. Cary, NC Nov 02, 2016 $55,661

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Top Skills for A Tax Accountant


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Top Tax Accountant Skills

  1. Income Tax Returns
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Partnership Tax Returns
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Compiled, analyzed, and evaluated individual and business income tax returns, extensions and amendments.
  • Prepared necessary supporting documents with all returns - including documents converting foreign entity's financial statements to US dollars.
  • Prepared partnership tax returns (1065s), Exempt Organizations returns (form 990, 990T) and state returns.
  • Handled all quarterly Payroll Tax Returns for over 70 clients, as well as Sales Tax for many.
  • Assisted in ensuring global tax compliance.

Top Tax Accountant Employers

Tax Accountant Videos

What It's Like To Be a Tax Accountant - Big Four Public Accounting (@RosendaleWrites)

When I Grow Up, I want to be a Tax Accountant - Before and After ONESOURCE

When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Tax Accountant -- Before ONESOURCE (Extended)