If you have an aptitude for math and and are looking for a rewarding career with great benefits, you may be interested in learning how to become a tax specialist. There are many different career titles that fall under the category of tax specialist, so it is beneficial to seek out a career path that caters to your strengths.
Specific Tax Specialist Jobs
Accountants, tax preparers and tax managers are all different career paths which fall under the umbrella term of tax specialist. Most tax specialists start as entry-level accountants and work towards becoming tax compliance managers or senior tax accountants. Tax specialists of all kinds can work for themselves, advising individuals; alternatively they can work for a company, large or small, to advise on tax-related issues.
Average Salary of Tax Specialists
Entry-level tax specialists have a higher-than-average annual income with the national average hitting $48,799, according to Payscale. Once you become a tax specialist, there is less than average salary growth based on experience; instead, an increase in salary often comes from moving forward to higher-paid positions such as senior tax specialists or tax managers.
Skills Required for Tax Specialists
An aptitude for math is necessary for most to begin considering becoming a tax specialist. In addition to sharp mathematical skills, tax specialists should also possess exceptional analytical skills and pay close attention to detail. The ability to multitask and manage time well is especially important for accountants when they become busy during tax season. Computer skills are essential in this profession. Communication skills are also a favorable asset when working with customers, while leadership skills are beneficial to tax specialists seeking managerial roles.
Education and Certification Requirements for Tax Specialists
To become a tax specialist of any kind, you must pass an IRS exam that tests your knowledge of various tax laws and issues; upon doing so, you will be designated an enrolled agent, according to the National Association of Enrolled Agents. These type of accountants and tax specialists typically undergo on-the-job training programs once they are hired, although some companies require post-secondary school education. Certified public accountants are required to have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business or a related math field as well as certification that proves an understanding of business law, accounting and auditing.
Things to Remember Before Pursuing a Career as a Tax Specialist
All careers have their downsides, and it is important to consider the negatives to determine whether a career as a tax specialist is right for you. Tax specialists are typically under strict deadlines that can cause a lot of pressure, particularly during tax season. Many tax specialists are required to continually receive new training and education to stay current with updated tax regulations. And while this career is relatively stable, because tax enforcement is always necessary, there has been a slight decline in employment rates in recent years.
Related Resource: Different Types of Accounting Certifications
Working as a tax specialist can be stressful, and the education required can be daunting for those looking to start a new career. However, when you become a tax specialist, you can view your education as an investment in a future of fulfillment and stability.