Online Tax Accounting Courses & Degree

Online tax accounting degree programs and classes are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Read on for a roadmap of what you'll learn in online tax accounting courses and what kind of degree you can get. Schools offering Accounting - Taxation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are My Online Degree Options in Tax Accounting?

You can earn an online associate's, bachelor's or master's degree in accounting through numerous accredited distance learning programs. A bachelor's degree is usually required to get a job as an accountant, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Furthermore, working as a Certified Public Accountant requires state licensure, and the vast majority of states require at least a bachelor's degree to become licensed, per the BLS. Therefore, a bachelor's degree is typically the most common and practical option for individuals looking to earn an online degree in accounting and pursue a career in the field. Bachelor's degrees are usually conferred in the general field of accounting, but course curricula always include plenty of tax accounting education, and some schools offer degree concentrations in taxation.

Master's degree programs are also offered online. In addition to sharpening students' knowledge in accounting and tax functions, graduate-level programs can also help to fulfill the 150 credit hours of accounting courses required by virtually all states to become a CPA. You don't have to have a master's degree to become an accountant, however. Regardless of degree level, distance learning programs usually feature a combination of interactive classes, lectures and independent work that is turned in online.

Online Tax Accounting Program OptionsAssociate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting, sometimes with tax concentrations
Bachelor's Degree Programs Award 120 of 150 credits required to become a certified CPA; cover accounting and business finance
Common Course TopicsFinancial reporting, asset calculations, tax preparation, legal regulations
Master's Degree ProgramsIn-depth coursework in federal, state and local taxation and financial business transactions

What Will I Learn in an Online Tax Accounting Bachelor's Degree Program?

Online bachelor's degree in tax accounting programs teach students the ins and outs of cash flow analysis and tax law. In these programs, you'll learn how to prepare taxes for any type of client, be it individuals, corporations, small businesses or nonprofits. You'll need to take several accounting courses, which will teach you different methods of financial analysis and record-keeping and show you how to use this data in tax preparation. You'll also take multiple foundational classes in business and finance in order to help you understand how a company's operational costs, revenue and assets affect the preparation of their taxes. Required courses in auditing will teach you how to determine the proper legal and ethical standards for assessing a client's risk of being audited and determining whether fraud has occurred. Last but not least, you'll learn about the legal regulations employed by government agencies like the IRS.

Most programs can be completed in about two years of full-time study. Because many distance learning students juggle their academic studies with family or work responsibilities, some schools offer a more flexible program structure. In some cases, students can complete online courses at their own pace, rather than waiting for one semester to end and another to begin. Like most bachelor's degree programs, online accounting programs typically require completion of at least 120 credits. Programs with concentrations in tax accounting or related areas may take more credit hours to complete. Many programs will allow students who finish their undergraduate studies to take enough graduate-level accounting courses to satisfy the 150-credit requirement for state CPA licensing, or help them enter into a full master's degree program.

What Are Some Common Course Topics?

Although degree programs also cover business, finance and other areas relevant to accounting, tax methodology and regulations are a major part of the syllabus. Required courses in online accounting bachelor's degree programs provide in-depth education in the role of both the government and the accountant in tax reporting, preparation and processing. Below is a list of topics commonly covered in the tax-related courses that are part of accounting bachelor's degree program curricula:

  • Federal tax credits, deductions and exemptions
  • Gross income calculations
  • Financial reporting
  • Auditing laws and processes
  • Corporate tax planning
  • Pensions and leases in tax preparation
  • IRS legal regulations
  • Cash flow statements

What Will I Learn in an Online Tax Accounting Master's Degree Program?

Online master's degree programs in accounting offer an in-depth education in all elements of business financial transactions and taxation. Most programs require completion of at least one course teaching students about things like mergers, acquisitions and estate gifts and discussing their effect on a company's financial bottom line and taxes. As in undergraduate programs, federal taxation and auditing are prominent parts of the curriculum. Some master's programs also cover state and local government tax functions and regulations. Most programs require completion of approximately 30 credits, which typically includes several core accounting courses and related electives, many of which can be in taxation. Some programs also require students to complete a final project using real-life accounting and tax case studies.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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