Tax Accountant Salary
The average Tax Accountant in the United States earns approximately $54K annually. Individual bonuses, profit sharing and commission for Tax Accountants — as high as $6K, $4K and $20K, respectively — each contribute to the degree of variation within overall compensation, ranging from $39K to $76K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is career length, followed by the specific employer and location. Slightly less than a fourth of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a strong majority report medical coverage and slightly more than half claim dental coverage as well. The majority of Tax Accountants claim high levels of job satisfaction. Women Tax Accountants who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Tax Accountant
Tax accountants specialize in preparing and submitting tax documents for clients, which can include private individuals and private and public companies; these companies may include non-profits and government agencies, as well. Tax accountants often devise tax strategies to defer or eliminate tax payments, coordinate audits with various taxation authorities, and advise corporate management of taxation strategies. As such, they must understand and interpret tax law and occasionally explain its implications to clients.Read More...
Duties of tax accountants include preparing and filing taxes, preparing presentations and reports on tax situations, advising clients regarding how to minimize tax liability, and informing them of changes in tax regulations; overall, their goal is to ensure that their clients comply with all federal and state tax laws. They must be highly knowledgeable of business concepts and government regulations, detail-oriented, and comfortable working with numbers and financial data. Great written and verbal communication skills and superior customer service are also important.
Tax accountants must have a financial background and deep knowledge of the taxation process and tax law and be able to effectively communicate, in verbal or written form, this knowledge to their clients in "layman's' terms." Most tax accountants have a bachelor's degree in accounting or a similar financial field, and concentration in tax law is highly beneficial. Some employers may prefer those who have a master's degree and/or certifications such as Certified Public Accountant, Enrolled Agent, or Certified Financial Planner.
Tax accountants typically work during traditional business hours of the week, except around tax season when their hours may increase significantly. Tax accountants usually work in accounting offices, and their co-workers include other tax accountants, supervisors, company leaders, and their clients.
Tax Accountant Tasks
- Prepare tax returns and reports, maintain records, analyze and research complex tax issues.
- Provides support during audits.
- Ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.
- Analyze tax regulations and recommend policies that minimize tax burden.
Common Career Paths for Tax Accountant
For Tax Accountants, progressing to a Senior Tax Manager role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Senior Tax Manager can earn $123K annually. When Tax Accountants are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Senior Tax Accountants or Tax Managers. Those roles pay an additional $10K and $38K, respectively.
Tax Accountant Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Tax Accountant
Although PricewaterhouseCoopers offers the highest salaries (median pay is $62K), survey participants reported a rather limited pay range of $59K to $77K.
Popular Skills for Tax Accountant
Survey takers working as Tax Accountants report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Tax Compliance, Tax Consulting, Financial Reporting, and Financial Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 5 percent, 4 percent, 3 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Bookkeeping, Payroll Tax Compliance, and ADP Sales and Use Tax System. Those educated in Tax Compliance tend to be well versed in Microsoft Excel.
Pay by Experience Level for Tax Accountant
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Tax Accountants, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $53K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $62K. Tax Accountants bring in $66K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $68K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Tax Accountants, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 12 percent above the national average. Tax Accountants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Boston (+11 percent), Chicago (+9 percent), San Antonio (+8 percent), and Dallas (+8 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 9 percent south of the national average, can be found in Milwaukee.