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Tax Accountant Career


What is a Tax Accountant?


A tax accountant handles a company’s ongoing tax needs, especially during the height of tax season. They might advise companies in filing certain rebate forms, assist in packaging tax documents for submission, and draft tax reports that comply with all federal guidelines.

A tax accountant will likely be a CPA or certified professional accountant. This designation means that they have specific licenses that allow them to work on specific tax documents, with government organizations, and meet certain compliance standards. All tax accountants are expected to obtain a valid undergraduate degree. Many also need to obtain a master’s degree, in addition 


What Does a Tax Accountant Do?

Tax accountants perform a wide variety of tasks. On some days, you might consult with clients about their tax strategies. On other days, you might spend time filing tax documents, using a company’s financial database, or ensuring tax compliance.

The responsibilities of a tax accountant include:

  • Filing tax documents on a client’s behalf.
  • Consulting with clients to help them prepare for tax season over the year.
  • Ensuring continued compliance with all local, state, and federal tax laws.
  • Pursuing all available tax rebates and credits that help clients save money.
  • Preparing any requested or required tax reports.
  • Researching any updates to current tax laws or regulations.
  • Resolving issues in a client’s tax filings or tax bookkeeping methods.
  • Communicating with fellow tax accountants and with other members of a company’s financial department.

These and other responsibilities define the day-to-day habits of a tax accountant, as they prepare paperwork, file documents, and advise strategies that help clients maximize their tax returns.

What Certifications Does a Tax Accountant Need?

Tax accountants commonly need to hold a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. Passing this exam proves that you are capable of practicing the fundamentals of accounting for your clients.

Where Do Tax Accountants Work?

Tax accountants work in several different locations. Some tax accountants are contracted by specific clients to assist with tax procedures. Other tax accountants are employed by companies internally, to work alongside their financial and accounting departments.

Tax accountants work for:

  • Financial firms
  • Private tax companies 
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Banking institutions
  • Government organizations
  • Healthcare organizations
  • IT providers
  • Insurance agencies


What Education Does a Tax Accountant Need?

Students will need to satisfy a few educational requirements before they can begin fulfilling accounting careers. First, you’ll need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in accountingbachelor's degree in finance or another closely related field. This program helps you develop a solid knowledge of the accounting industry, fostering skills like auditing, business ethics, and employment law.

You can further your education by obtaining a master’s degree in accounting. You’ll deepen your understanding of fields like financial accounting, strategic management, and advanced tax concepts. You’ll be prepared to sit for the certified public accountant exam. This knowledge and other skills will help you fulfill all the necessary responsibilities of a tax accountant.

Best Degrees for a Tax Accountants


Finance – B.S.

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant...

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant industry skills.

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish similar programs within 24 months
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Management
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Spreadsheets
  • Financial Analysis
  • Problem Solving

The competency-based model at WGU allows you to move as quickly as you can master the material, and do your coursework on your schedule. Flexibility is key with the B.S. in finance at WGU.


Accounting – B.S. Business Administration

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish within 24 months
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Financial Statements
  • Communication
  • Detail Oriented
  • Research

Take your first step toward CPA certification and learn how to use GAAP, ledgers, and journals.


Accounting – M.S.

Become better qualified to pursue a greater variety of public and private...

Become better qualified to pursue a greater variety of public and private accounting positions:

  • Time: 62% of grads finish within 19 months.
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 10 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé that this program will prepare you for: 

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Tax Planning
  • Financial Management
  • Online Communication
  • Research

This MAcc program is designed to prepare you for the CPA exam and also the CMA or CIA exams.


Accounting Fundamentals Certificate – School of Business

Enhance your résumé and showcase your skills with an accounting...

Enhance your résumé and showcase your skills with an accounting fundamentals certificate from the School of Business.

  • Time: 6 months from start to finish.
  • Cost: $2,000 for the certificate.
  • Courses: 5 courses total in this program.

This program is designed for individuals who want to boost their résumé with the help of an accounting fundamentals certificate from WGU’s School of Business.

Whether you want to advance your career in this field, or you're just getting started, an accounting fundamentals certificate can help you be ready for your next career step. You'll be prepared to work in a variety of industries including: 

  • Startups
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • IT
  • Retail
  • E-Commerce

How Much Does a Tax Accountant Make?


The exact income of a tax accountant depends on several factors, including your employer, employer’s location, years of experience, education, and active certifications. In general, the annual salary of a tax accountant averages $57,780, with a range of roughly $45,000 to $76,000.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


Tax accountant careers are expected to enjoy a favorable outlook over the next decade. Employment for accountants is expected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, a growth rate roughly the same as the average across all occupations. As economies grow and change, the demand for qualified tax accountants should increase. Particularly in industries where tax laws may evolve, tax accounts will remain busy helping companies to fully comply with ongoing changes.


What Skills Does a Tax Accountant Need?

Tax accountants put a variety of skills to work. Whether they’re filing documents or communicating with clients, an accountant’s skill set is optimized to ensure continued compliance with all tax regulations.

The skills a tax accountant needs include:

  • Financial management. The ability to appropriately manage a company’s financial portfolio, particularly any financial aspects that will ensure smooth tax procedures.
  • Compliance. The ability to examine a company’s financial procedures in light of current legal parameters.
  • Interpersonal communication. The ability to correspond effectively with members of a company’s financial and accounting departments, in addition to any other company representatives and executives.
  • Problem-solving. The ability to identify and overcome any issues that a company’s tax situation might present.
  • Technological proficiency. The ability to fully use any devices and platforms that benefit an accounting department, including all computers, tablets, phones, and online programs.
  • Data reporting. The ability to gather, protect, analyze, and report on tax data in ways that company executives can understand and learn from.

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No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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Interested in Becoming a Tax Accountant?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.