How do I Become a Tax Inspector?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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In order to become a tax inspector you must have excellent accounting and research skills. Tax inspectors must review tax returns in order to find tax evasion or mistakes. In order to begin a career related to taxes, you must study tax codes, have a sharp understanding of mathematics and be able to work with people.

Research is a major part of the job for anyone wishing to become a tax inspector. Many countries have large, complex tax codes. Reading and retaining these laws is essential to understanding the legalities of taxation. Being able to adjust this thinking is also crucial, because many tax codes change frequently, which means applying a different set of standards from year to year.

Another important element needed to become a tax inspector is taking action. By applying all the research knowledge to actual tax returns, a tax inspector can determine whether they were legally filed or not. If not, a tax inspector must then investigate or audit the filer, often interviewing that person and studying his or her personal records. Finally, a tax inspector must determine what penalty should be issued. In many countries, this can be a fine or even criminal charges.


In order to prepare for a life of tax inspection, a great deal of education is necessary. Before studying tax code and applying this understanding in pursuing tax criminals, schooling is crucial. Although not a universal requirement, most governments require a four-year degree for anyone who wants to become a tax inspector. Accounting is a popular field of study for future tax inspectors. This educational path teaches the basics of applying math to finances and supplies the bedrock economic theories that are the primary inspiration for various taxes around the world.

Many tax inspectors do not leap directly from school to inspection. It is not uncommon for someone to get many years of real-world experience before focusing attention on tax inspection. Two of the more popular professions that translate into tax inspection are those of an accountant and a lawyer. An accountant's familiarity with numbers and tax codes is an obvious connection to the daily needs of this profession. Lawyers' ability to research and communicate with people make them strong candidate for becoming tax inspectors.

There are some clear-cut paths for anyone who wishes to become a tax inspector. The research and foundation provided in an accounting education are essential to this job. Also, the skills that make successful lawyers and accountants can translate well into a tax inspector's world.



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