CHOOSING A CAREER / JAN. 18, 2015
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How to Become a Tax Analyst in the US

Tax analysis is one of the many occupations in the accounting field. With many enterprises faced with the mandatory need to comply with several tax laws, the demand for tax analysts is on the rise. These professionals work to ensure organizations adhere to all the relevant tax laws and regulations. If you have a background in business or accounting, this is a career that could suit you.

What Do Tax Analysts Do?

The duties of tax analysts include:

  • Assessing the operations of a company to detect regulatory violations
  • Providing recommendations on how to maintain adherence to relevant tax laws
  • Staying abreast of regulatory changes and updating managers accordingly
  • Developing strategies that can help the organization to limit its liability to tax obligations
  • Preparing tax reports and filing them with the Internal Revenue Service or any other regulatory agency
  • Giving assistance to external tax auditors.

Work Environment

This is a typical 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday job. Tax analysts spend their work day in an office, where they review a variety of documents and compile reports.

Occasionally, they may travel to attend tax-themed conferences and other industry events.

Salary

What is the average annual salary for tax analysts in the US? Find out below:

Occupation

Average Annual Salary

Tax analysts

$68,000

Source: Indeed

Entry Requirements

To become a tax analyst, you must have a thorough understanding of business laws, as well as other laws that regulate a certain industry. For example, if you wish to work in a pharmaceutical company, you must be familiar with federal and state pharmaceutical laws.

But the journey to becoming a tax analyst begins at undergraduate level, where you should earn a bachelor’s degree in any of the following fields:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Business administration

These academic programs offer courses in business or commercial law, making them perfect for aspiring tax analysts.

Although it is possible to enter the occupation through a bachelor’s degree in legal studies, you may need to pursue additional courses in accounting – such as CPA – to enhance your suitability to the job.

Important Qualities

To be a competent tax analyst you need:

  • Excellent analytical skills to determine how various laws can affect the business
  • An interest in staying abreast of regulatory changes
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Strong computer skills to effectively use tax analysis software
  • Excellent skills with Microsoft Excel
  • The ability to pay close attention to details
  • Good organizational skills
  • Good communication skills

Career Advancement

Many tax analysts begin as accountants or business analysts before moving into tax analysis. Many employers prefer individuals who have an intricate understanding of their companies’ operations, so this job is primarily obtained through an internal promotion.

After landing the job, you can pursue a master’s degree in taxation to improve your competence. This is especially crucial if you work in a large corporation.

Some of the universities offering graduate programs in taxation include:

You can also join any or all of the professional organizations listed below:

Job Opportunities

The major employers of tax analysts include:

  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Investment companies
  • IT firms
  • Brokerages

Opportunities are also available in some non-profit organizations.

With vast experience and advanced qualifications, you can become a tax manager.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of all business and financial professionals will grow by 13 percent -- faster than the 11 percent average for all jobs – from 2012 through 2022.

So if you are keen on exploring the often complicated world of taxation, there will be enough employment opportunities for in tax analysis.

 

Image: iStock

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