What is a tax accountant?

Tax accountants offer their clients financial and tax advice, and they help them to follow tax laws and regulations to create their annual tax returns. A tax accountant job description includes creating productive financial goals and helping clients to achieve those goals. They will also work with them during tax season to make the return filing process much easier and efficient with the best possible result.

A tax accountant’s duties include day-to-day monitoring of their clients’ financial needs, along with creating feasible budgets and strategies to stay within those budgets. A tax accountant will also work on a strategy to eliminate, minimize, or defer tax payments using proper regulations, along with preparing clients for audits.

How is this role monitored?

One of the biggest key performance indicators for tax accountants is profit. On a daily basis, a tax accountant’s goals and objectives are to aid their client in achieving financial goals. They will also work during tax season to reduce, eliminate, or delay the amount of taxes that must be paid, while staying within all IRS laws, guidelines, and regulations. Success as a tax accountant is calculated by the financial stability and security of their clients.

Tax accountant salary

How much do tax accountants make? In the U.S., the average pay in 2019 for a tax accountant was $71,550 per year, or $34.40 per hour. This salary can range from $44,480 to $124,450, depending on your experience level, education status, and location within the country. As the overall economic health of the country rises, so does the need for more tax accountants.

Required Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Math skills
  • Organizational skills


  • Bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting
  • Degree with concentration on tax law, or master’s degree
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Extensive knowledge of tax laws and regulations

What does a tax accountant do?

A tax accountant’s duties and responsibilities include creating budgets within their clients’ means, helping them stick to that budget, and adjusting as needed. They are also responsible for aiding their clients during tax season by preparing tax forms and staying up to date with IRS laws and regulations. Additional duties may include:

  • Researches and maintains tax and financial records for clients
  • Prepares tax forms and documents
  • Stay up to date with tax laws and regulations
  • Ensures that financial documents and statements comply with law and regulations
  • Prepares, completes, and files tax returns for individuals and companies
  • Assists clients with tax audits
  • Monitors and responds to tax authority communications
  • Identify any taxes owed or to be received
  • Uses accounting procedures to identify any potential risks for fraud
  • Assess financial information and identifies risks, then makes recommendations to fix any risks
  • Offers advice and suggestions on reducing costs and improving profits

Top tax accountant interview questions

To get a great tax accountant job, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the interview. Popular questions that you can expect are:

  1. Explain your experience thus far in the accounting field.
  2. What do you think are the biggest challenges in the tax accounting field today, and how can you prepare for them?
  3. How do you minimize errors in your work?
  4. Are you detail oriented? Explain how.
  5. What software and applications are you proficient in?
  6. Explain the difference between tax accounting, auditing, and forensic accounting.
  7. Why is it important to maintain records for 7 years?

How to become a tax accountant

Becoming a tax accountant starts with education. Since a bachelor’s degree is required, you’ll want to start your schooling with an emphasis in mathematics, finance, or accounting. You also need to obtain your tax accountant certification in order to file anything with the SEC for your clients.

Similar positions

The following are similar types of positions to tax accountants:

  • Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
  • Budget Analysts
  • Personal Financial Advisors
  • Revenue Agents

Tax accountant career advancement

Experienced tax accountants may advance within their company to the following roles:

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Controller/Accounting Manager
  • IRS Lead Tax Examining Technician

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