Any person or business that generates income must file taxes. But the fact of the matter is that most people not only dislike paying taxes, but they also dislike filling out the required paperwork and rarely understand how to do so properly. Taxpayers, including both individuals and businesses, often turn to taxation professionals to help them wade through the paperwork required throughout the year. In addition to freeing up time, this can also result in saving money if the accountant is savvy enough about loopholes, regulations, and planning.
A Career in Taxation Accounting
The field of accounting is quite broad, and many practitioners specialize in specific areas. Those interested in taxation may advise companies and individuals about the tax advantages (or disadvantages) of certain actions, helping to formulate tax strategies. They may prepare corporate or personal income tax returns. They may also advise companies about mergers and acquisitions, deferring taxes, and classifying expenses.
Taxation Accounting Degrees
Any of the duties a tax accountant might be expected to perform would rely upon his or her thorough knowledge of the tax code. This is where formal career training in taxation accounting is essential. Though it is possible to process IRS forms without formal training, a degree in taxation or accounting is strongly recommended, and is much preferred by most employers. In fact, some firms may even require candidates who have received some formal legal career training, such as a Juris Doctorate degree.
You may become a tax accountant by specializing in corporate, property, sales, or individual taxes. A degree in taxation or accounting program also enables you to work with government agencies (like the IRS) and oversee tax collection.
Inside Taxation Accounting Programs
In a typical taxation program, you might cover areas such as accounting, information technology, budgeting, forensic accounting, regulations, retirement saving, investing, and other areas germane to the field. You may even be asked to perform case studies in which you conduct research companies, analyze their tax situations, prepare actual tax filings, or make recommendations for future tax strategies.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation is also important for demonstrating your credibility. The CPA, which can be earned upon the completion of an extensive exam and work experience, in combination with an accounting degree, is preferred by most employers, and required for anyone filing reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Career Training for a Strong Financial Future
Job prospects for a tax accountant are quite good, with a median salary close to $50,000 per year in the United States. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't specifically track salary and employment data for the tax accounting specialization, 2008-2009 labor information indicates that employment in all accounting specialties should grow by leaps and bounds in the coming decade, making accounting degrees an excellent way to begin your career.