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Posted On: April 15, 2018 by Henry R. Steele

The following article discusses the career path of Tax Accountant. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Tax Accountants.

Job Duties

Tax accountants specialize in preparing and submitting documents relating to their clients’ tax returns. These clients may be companies or individuals. They also develop tax strategies to ensure that clients do not pay more tax than they need to. They also handle audits and develop taxation strategies. They are experts in tax laws and can explain what these mean to their clients.

They prepare and file yearly tax reports, develop presentations on tax situations, provide advice on minimizing liability, stay up to date with tax regulations, and so on. They ensure that clients are fully compliant with relevant tax laws. They must therefore understand government regulations, and also various business concepts.

Typically, they work during regular business hours. During tax season, however, they often have to render overtime work. They usually work in offices, together with their clients and senior management teams.

Other duties of the tax accountant are:

    – To prepare tax reports and tax returns, research and analyze complex tax issues, and maintain records
    – To ensure support is provided if an audit takes place
    – To ensure all federal and state regulations are complied with
    – To stay abreast with tax regulations, helping clients minimize their tax burden through better strategies

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,397,700 accountants and auditors in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals are:

  • Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services: 25%
  • Government: 8%
  • Finance and insurance: 8%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 7%
  • Self-employed workers: 7%

How to Become

Tax accountants need to have a background in finance and taxation law. They must be able to convey complex taxation language in an easy to understand manner. A bachelor’s degree in a field relating to finance and accounting is recommended, particularly with a tax law concentration. Master’s degrees are often preferred, particularly because this enables an accountant to become a Certified Financial Planner, Enrolled Agent, or Certified Public Accountant.

Those who need to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This means that they have to complete education beyond their bachelor’s degree and pass the CPA exam. Most tax accountants are expected to be a CPA, which is why most have the master’s degree as this enables them to meet and exceed the 150 semester hours of coursework requirement for the certification examination. The CPA examination is offered by the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). CPA certification must be maintained through continuous education.

Tax accountants usually start their career at an entry level position and then grow into supervisory roles, becoming managers and eventually even partners. Some start as junior internal auditors or cost accountants, for instance, rising through the organization over time. It is also common for tax accountants to move between internal auditing and management accounting so that they get more varied experiences.

Education Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement, with a major in accounting, finance, or related field. Those with a master’s degree are usually in higher demand, particularly those with a master in business administration (MBA) with an accountancy concentration.

Aside from the CPA, other certifications can also be beneficial for someone working as a tax accountant, including:

– Certified Management Accountant (CMA) offered by the Institute of Management Accountants
– Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)
– Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA) offered by the IIA
– Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) offered by the IIA
– Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) offered by the IIA
– Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) offered by the IIA
– Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) offered by ISACA
– CPA Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) offered by AICPA
– CPA Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) offered by AICPA
– CPA Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) offered by AICPA

Traits & Qualities

The most effective tax accountants have the following traits to some degree or other:

– Strong analytical skills
– Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
– Detail oriented
– Excellent mathematical skills
– Strong organizational skills

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Tax Accountant was $65,728. This number is estimated from over 1,137,436 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $34.23 and monthly of $5,477.

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$23,000

$130,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Tax Accountant salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, South Dakota had the largest quoted salary of $84,534 while Rhode Island had the smallest quoted salary of $35,212.

Alaska Idaho North Carolina South Carolina
Alabama Illinois North Dakota South Dakota
Arkansas Indiana Nebraska Tennessee
Arizona Kansas New Hampshire Texas
California Kentucky New Jersey Utah
Colorado Louisiana New Mexico Virginia
Connecticut Massachusetts Nevada Vermont
DC Maryland New York Washington
Delaware Maine Ohio Wisconsin
Florida Michigan Oklahoma West Virginia
Georgia Minnesota Oregon
Hawaii Missouri Pennsylvania
Iowa Montana Rhode Island
Alaska$81,941 Rank: 2nd

The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Marcuson-Beck & Associates, LLC.

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$41,000

$130,000

Salary Distribution
Alabama$54,028 Rank: 43rd

The average salary ranks 43rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like ITAC Solutions, ITAC Solutions, LLC, Vaco, and Express Employment Professionals.

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$23,000

$97,000

Salary Distribution
Arkansas$64,324 Rank: 22nd

The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Little Rock CPA Firm, and Accountemps.

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$28,000

$114,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$64,324 Rank: 23rd

The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, LS Associates, Southwest Accounting Resources, Inc., and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$24,000

$122,000

Salary Distribution
California$68,946 Rank: 13th

The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Ledgent Finance & Accounting, National Insurance Company, Spectrum Search Associates, Inc., and Casbon & Associates, LLC.

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$27,000

$129,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$63,551 Rank: 26th

The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Trimble & Associates Inc, Consortium International, Bradsby Group, and AppleOne.

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$25,000

$119,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$77,768 Rank: 3rd

The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Kforce Finance and Accounting, Contract Staffing Recruiters, Bohan & Bradstreet, Inc., and The Forum Group.

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$33,000

$140,000

Salary Distribution
DC$65,319 Rank: 18th

The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Agility Talent, Green Key Resources, CyberCoders, and Global Employment Solutions.

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$33,000

$106,000

Salary Distribution
Delaware$44,774 Rank: 47th

The average salary ranks 47th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Accountemps.

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$8.15

$46.15

Salary Distribution
Florida$63,079 Rank: 28th

The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Int law & tax, National Insurance Company, SNI Financial, and South Florida Recruiters.

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$19,000

$131,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$64,090 Rank: 24th

The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like HRx and Compliance Recruiting, MetaSense, Inc., HRxCompliance, and At-Tech.

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$16,000

$142,000

Salary Distribution
Hawaii$55,071 Rank: 42nd

The average salary ranks 42nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Staffing Solutions of Hawaii, ALTRES, ALTRES Office, and Express Employment Professionals.

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$27,000

$84,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$43,584 Rank: 48th

The average salary ranks 48th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like MidAmerican Energy, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and Accountemps.

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$11.50

$35.95

Salary Distribution
Idaho$76,909 Rank: 5th

The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Marcuson-Beck & Associates, LLC.

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$30,000

$145,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$63,368 Rank: 27th

The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Accounting Firm, CFS, Inc., Accounting Career Network, and CFS Inc..

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$24,000

$120,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$70,232 Rank: 11th

The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Cube Management, Cummins, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and TalentSource Staffing.

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$27,000

$132,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$63,556 Rank: 25th

The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Specialists Group LLC, The, Right Recruiting, and Aston Carter.

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$32,000

$97,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$58,319 Rank: 38th

The average salary ranks 38th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Angel Group, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Vaco, and Accounting Principals.

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$28,000

$99,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$53,481 Rank: 44th

The average salary ranks 44th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Michael Choate Associates, CPAs, AppleOne, Sumit Credits, LLC, and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$19,000

$104,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$65,961 Rank: 17th

The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Pelham Berkeley Search, Kforce Finance and Accounting, RRMA, and Liberty Mutual.

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$33,000

$110,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$73,469 Rank: 8th

The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Direct Hire – Full Time, NORTH STAR, Green Key Resources, and Latitude Inc..

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$30,000

$136,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$65,055 Rank: 19th

The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Springborn Staffing.

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$29,000

$114,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$69,613 Rank: 12th

The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like UHY LLP, Parker and Lynch, Marcuson-Beck & Associates, LLC, and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$23,000

$141,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$64,431 Rank: 21st

The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Masterson Staffing Solutions, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Northstar Staffing Solutions, and CyberCoders.

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$24,000

$124,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$61,395 Rank: 31st

The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Beacon Hill Staffing, Consortium International, Kforce Finance and Accounting, and SearchAccountingJobs.

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$25,000

$112,000

Salary Distribution
Montana$58,602 Rank: 37th

The average salary ranks 37th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Marcuson-Beck & Associates, LLC.

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$29,000

$95,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$59,448 Rank: 36th

The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Adams & Clark CPAs PA, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and Accountants One.

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$24,000

$109,000

Salary Distribution
North Dakota$48,492 Rank: 45th

The average salary ranks 45th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Spherion.

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$20,000

$88,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$44,889 Rank: 46th

The average salary ranks 46th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Hemphill Staffing Solutions, Accountemps, and Aureus Group.

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$7.25

$49.10

Salary Distribution
New Hampshire$77,354 Rank: 4th

The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RRMA, Kforce Finance and Accounting, and Accountemps.

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$38,000

$117,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$75,009 Rank: 7th

The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Kforce Finance and Accounting, Talent Plus Staffing, Marcus & Associates, and Accounting Career Network.

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$18,000

$170,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$61,978 Rank: 30th

The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Marcuson-Beck & Associates, LLC and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$31,000

$101,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$62,842 Rank: 29th

The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Marcuson-Beck & Associates, LLC, CyberCoders, Accountemps, and ICONMA, LLC..

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$28,000

$110,000

Salary Distribution
New York$73,172 Rank: 9th

The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Flatiron Search, MISSION STAFFING, First Sterling Financial, and National Insurance Company.

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$25,000

$146,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$59,963 Rank: 33rd

The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Vaco, National Insurance Company, General Employment, Inc., and Cameron Craig Group.

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$30,000

$100,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$59,591 Rank: 34th

The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Accountemps, Accounting Principals, Fuse3 Solutions, and Rowland Group, The.

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$29,000

$100,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$72,997 Rank: 10th

The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Services, Inc., Robert Half Finance & Accounting, CyberCoders, and Marcuson-Beck & Associates, LLC.

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$31,000

$131,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$67,231 Rank: 14th

The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like firstPRO Inc., Ascendo Resources, Aspire Staffing Partners, and The Dubin Group.

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$26,000

$126,000

Salary Distribution
Rhode Island$35,212 Rank: 49th

The average salary ranks 49th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Complete Staffing Solutions, CCS, CCSi, and CSS.

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$9.20

$27.65

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$60,504 Rank: 32nd

The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CIG, AppleOne, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and The Hultquist Firm CPA.

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$30,000

$100,000

Salary Distribution
South Dakota$84,534 Rank: 1st

The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Spherion and Maverick Recruiting.

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$42,000

$133,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$58,254 Rank: 39th

The average salary ranks 39th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CIG, The Hadden Group, Creative Financial Staffing, and StaffSource.

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$24,000

$107,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$64,500 Rank: 20th

The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like National Insurance Company, Wheeler Fairman & Kelley, SNI Financial, and Z&A Recruiting.

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$24,000

$123,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$57,841 Rank: 40th

The average salary ranks 40th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Marcuson-Beck & Associates, LLC, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Accountemps, and Lancaster Financial & Valuation Services.

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$25,000

$103,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$66,669 Rank: 16th

The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Kforce Finance and Accounting, Parker + Lynch, Search Pro Group, and Merito Group.

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$29,000

$118,000

Salary Distribution
Vermont$67,131 Rank: 15th

The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Kforce Finance and Accounting.

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$31,000

$116,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$75,210 Rank: 6th

The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Liberty Mutual, Marcuson-Beck & Associates, LLC, and Aspen Personnel Service.

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$32,000

$135,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$59,509 Rank: 35th

The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Capitol Search Consultants, LLC, Halpin Staffing Services, and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$17,000

$127,000

Salary Distribution
West Virginia$56,273 Rank: 41st

The average salary ranks 41st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Capitol Search Consultants, LLC.

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$28,000

$85,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Tax Accountant. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

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Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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