Sound tax advice is among the most important information individuals, small businesses, and large companies can receive. A tax specialist is the primary individual responsible for providing this advice as well as making sure that the parties involved understand their tax responsibilities and pay the correct amount. The job of a tax specialist isn’t easy, but it’s typically a good fit for an individual who is good with numbers and is a stickler for doing things by the books.

Responsibilities of a Tax Specialist

Aside from just assisting individuals and businesses with tax documentation and payment, several other responsibilities fall within the hands of a tax specialist. In most cases, these individuals choose to specialize in either tax planning, which involves assisting clients in reducing their tax bills, or in tax compliance, which centers on preparing and submitting tax forms. In either case, this type of legal professional is responsible for:

  • Researching, understanding, and applying tax law
  • Working with clients to gather information and present options
  • Completing and reviewing necessary tax forms
  • Auditing clients’ tax records

Required Skills

Like with most jobs it is important to have certain essential skills if working within the tax field. This type of position requires more than just well-developed mathematical skills; however, those are a bonus as well. In addition to computational aptitude, individuals seeking to specialize in taxes should also have certain essential traits, such as:

  • Detail-oriented
  • Effective time management
  • Ability to multitask
  • Analytical thinking
  • Excellent communication skills

Additionally, excellent research skills as well as the ability to present information in both written and spoken forms is essential for tax specialists. An individual in this field is responsible for engaging clients as well as making sure that these individuals are completing all necessary tax documents that are relevant to their situation.

Qualifications to Become a Tax Specialist

This position is a specialized job that requires in-depth training. At the very least, individuals seeking to become tax specialists must obtain a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Additionally, most positions require that candidates have been CPA and MST certified. Four or more years of experience with filing domestic corporate taxes is also preferable. Additional qualifications that make an individual more valuable as a tax specialist include extensive knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and experience with tax software. Good communication skills and effective writing skills are also a consideration made by most firms.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for those involved in tax preparation is expected to grow by roughly 13 percent over the next several years, or as fast as average. The job is considered an effective place to start in the career world, as the median wage is roughly $36,000 a year. However, the more experience an individual has, the higher his or her initial pay rate is expected to be.

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If you’re interested in becoming a tax specialist, but still not sure it’s the job for you, you may want to pursue this career if you are good with math, enjoy problem solving, are analytical, and work well under pressure. A tax specialist is responsible for working directly with businesses as well as individuals, which can be somewhat trying at times; however, individuals who are interested in business and good with calculations generally thrive in this environment.