Tax inspectors ensure businesses and individuals adhere to all relevant tax codes of the United Kingdom. They identify the defaulters and work to make them pay. If you are interested in accounting, and you would like to work for the government, then you could become a tax inspector.
See Also: How to Become a Tax Analyst in the US
1. What Do Tax Inspectors Do?
Their duties include:
- Analyzing the financial records of an individual or organization
- Detecting and investigating tax fraud or noncompliance to tax codes
- Writing tax compliance reports and presenting to the tax inspector general
- Participating in the negotiation of tax settlements
- Advising organizations and individuals on how they can comply with various tax codes
- Presenting evidence in courts of law
- Supervising tax inspection assistants and other junior employees
2. Work Environment
Tax inspectors usually work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. When tax deadlines are approaching, they can put in more hours to complete compiling reports.
Although these inspectors are primarily office-based, they occasionally travel to various organizations to conduct investigations.
According to the National Careers Services, qualified tax inspectors make between £46,983 and £52,669 annually.
Interns earn £14,700, while those on a graduate program pocket £27,000.
4. Entry Requirements
The road to becoming a tax inspector begins in undergraduate school, where you should earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, economics, finance or a related field, and strive to get a 2:2 or higher
After graduating, apply to join the HM Revenue & Customs’ Tax Professional Graduate Program. Besides having a 2:2 degree or a professional qualification such as Chartered Accountant, you will also need to meet the following requirements:
- Be a UK national
- Pass a series of acceptance tests
The program, which takes 4 years to complete, covers areas such as:
- Capital gains tax
- Income tax
- Value Added Tax
- Corporation Tax
- International Taxation
The HMRC also offers internship opportunities to fourth-year students who want to pursue a career in taxation in either the private or public sector.
5. Career Development
Once you are admitted to the program, you will start as a trainee and after successfully completing the program, you will qualify as a tax inspector.
Regardless of whether you choose to work in the private or public sector, be sure to become a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation to demonstrate your professionalism and find networking opportunities. CIOT also offers a range of professional qualifications, such as the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation, which you can obtain to increase your career progression prospects.
6. Important Qualities
To be a competent tax inspector, you need:
- Excellent analytical skills
- Excellent information acquisition skills
- Strong math skills
- A superior understanding of tax codes
- A high level of accuracy
- Good organizational skills
- Report-writing and communication skills
- Negotiation skills
- Computer skills
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills
7. Job Opportunities
The employers of tax inspectors include:
- The HMRC
- Local authorities
As government tax inspector with substantial taxation experience, you can advance to become a senior tax inspector in charge of divisions such as fraud investigation or policy development.
If you choose to work in the private sector, you can be hired as a tax analyst or compliance officer by large businesses or established tax consulting firms. With experience, you can set up your own tax consulting firm.
Finally, the UK’s business field is booming with job opportunities. With the National Career Service forecasting the creation of about 200,000 new business-related jobs within the next five years, you should be confident of finding employment.
So if you’re good at analyzing data, then this is a career you should consider.