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How do I Become an Income Tax Accountant?

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  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 27 April 2018
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Tax accountants are financial professionals who ensure the preparation and accuracy of income tax returns. The job might also entail keeping financial records, data entry of financial information, budget analysis, and asset management. Other areas of responsibility might include auditing, financial planning, advising clients on how to develop a viable tax plan, checking for fraud, and in some cases investigating white collar crime. To become an income tax accountant, you will generally need a college degree, college internship experience, post-graduate work experience, and a graduate degree.

To become an income tax accountant, it is important to get a bachelor's degree in accounting so that you can become a certified public accountant (CPA). The degree in accounting will usually include courses such as auditing, taxation, economics, statistics, and cost accounting. Getting good grades in your college coursework can be essential because a high grade point average (GPA) will be something that many prospective graduate programs and employers will want to see.

During college, it can also be essential for you to participate in an accounting internship. The career services department of your school should be able to help you apply for an internship. There are various settings that you could consider for your internship. For instance, the accounting internship could be in an accounting firm, a corporate setting, a bank, a government setting, or a variety of other accounting-related settings. If you want to become an income tax accountant, successful completion of the internship is important because the internship provides you with valuable experience to supplement your classroom learning.

It is generally recommended that you apply for a job during the last semester of college. The career services department can typically provide job-search assistance. Conducting online job searches may be helpful in your job search, as well. Keep in mind, however, that your first post-graduate job title may not be as an income tax accountant. Rather, you may have to first gain experience as an accounting assistant, auditor, or accounting specialist.

You could start considering graduate school options as soon as you have completed two years of post-graduate work experience. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) in accounting is generally recommended or anyone who wants to become an income tax accountant. Gaining experience on professor-supervised research while obtaining your MBA can be essential — not only could it improve your career prospects, but it also will give you useful experience in the event that you choose to pursue a college teaching career.

Having excellent computer skills can be highly important for accountants. For example, accountants usually need to have expertise in spreadsheets, tax-related software, and financial analysis software. Learning all of the necessary computer and software skills can be challenging because technological changes or upgrades typically occur every year. Nonetheless, being knowledgeable about accounting software is a necessary part of the job.

Once you get an MBA and become an income tax accountant, you can decide which type of work setting you prefer. For example, some income tax accountants prefer to work in accounting firms or corporations. Some income tax accountants prefer to work in law firms. Others prefer to work in government agencies due to the stability that those types of jobs typically offer. Also, some accountants may decide to start their own accounting firm.

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