Tax Auditor Career and Training Programs
Tax auditors can work in a wide variety of settings, from business consulting to the federal government. Get career information and details about the kinds of training programs you can complete for employment as a tax auditor.
What You Need to Know
A tax auditor, also known as a tax examiner, is a professional who assesses the financial information of businesses and individuals specifically for tax returns. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a tax auditor works at all levels of government, including federal, state and local. Although commonly associated with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a tax auditor may also work as an entry-level employee for a town tax collection department.
|Degrees||Bachelor's degree in accounting is typically required|
|Licensing||A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license is required if filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$53,130 (for all tax examiners, collectors and revenue agents)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Degree Programs Are Available?
Employment on the local and state government level can sometimes be obtained without a postsecondary education if you have relevant experience, but most commonly an associate degree or a bachelor's degree is required. Tax examiners are typically required to hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject, such as accounting and, if you're applying to the IRS, you'll be required to have one along with one year of related work experience.
What Will I Study?
At the associate and bachelor's degree levels, you can study broad subjects like managerial accounting and governmental accounting. Bachelor's degree programs are more likely to offer coursework specifically relevant to the field, like auditing and taxation. Bachelor's degree programs can also include internships, which could help you gain hands-on training in a tax examiner environment. You might be taking some of the following courses:
- Operations management
- Financial management
- Cost accounting
What Will My On-the-Job Training Be Like?
A few weeks of training is typical under a senior member of the tax collection department you are hired in. Besides the initial training session, government offices provide seminars regularly on new federal or state information concerning taxation or about new skills to utilize at your job.
What Qualities Must I Have?
Working for the government in a tax auditor capacity means dealing with the private information of individuals and businesses. Confidentiality and trustworthiness are required character traits for such a position. You should also be capable of communicating effectively to citizens since you must address any discrepancies found in tax returns to businesses or private people. Since government revenue is a time-sensitive issue, excellent time management skills are also recommended.
What Are My Job Prospects?
According to the BLS, employment for tax examiners, collectors and revenue agents is expected to decline by 1% from 2016-2026, due largely to government budget cuts, though job prospects should be better at the state and local levels than in federal government. In 2017, professionals in this field earned a median annual salary of $53,130. Depending on your level of experience, level of education, and where you work, this salary may vary greatly. The top ten percent of this field take in a median salary of $99,990, which averages just over $48 an hour.