How to Become a Tax Accountant
They may often be seen as the boring villains of the World but in fact tax accountants do a fantastic, thoroughly helpful and well paid job and as far as career opportunities go there are plenty in the World of tax. As the saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes and if you can get a job in one of the two industries then you’ll be set for life.
Successful tax accountants like Ernst & Young’s Blake Rubin have forged formidable careers that sees them represent some of the World’s largest companies in handling their tax affairs. You can follow in the footsteps of these intelligent people providing you have the skills and technical ability to understand the world of tax law and economics. If this is the career choice for you then here are the requirements for you to enter in to the profession.
A good tax accountant needs to be extremely studious, the laws of taxation are changing all the time and even once you have completed your education you will need to keep your finger on the pulse of any changes in the law. In terms of academic ability, numbers needs to be your passion and excelling in math is vital. In terms of personality traits you will need to be a confident individual who is comfortable speaking with people on all social levels, as part of your job you will be dealing with some high-powered individuals and you will need to be comfortable enough to speak with them on their level and gain their trust and loyalty.
As mentioned before, you will need to be highly skilled in math and proficient in economics from high school level upwards. In terms of your university education you will need to aim for a Bachelor’s degree in accounting with a specialization in tax, if you want to reach the highest levels within the field then you should also opt to pursue a Master’s degree in either taxation or auditing.
Once you have been lucky enough to join a tax firm they will put you through your level 1,2 and 3 tax exams, providing they see potential in you. You could opt to take these exams before going a tax firm but they will cost you a great amount of money and you will need to be incredibly disciplined to teach yourself taxation without on-the-job training.
Once you are legally certified to practice taxation then you could either pursue a career within a private company or alternatively set up your own practice. Setting up your own practice could be very fruitful once you are established but in the early years you should expect to only have a handful of clients and not make very much money. The world of tax accountancy is competitive and very often the big boys in the industry are able to pick and choose between the biggest clients, you will very much be a small fish in a huge pond and you will need to build slowly over time.