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Job Description of a Tax Analyst

Founding father Benjamin Franklin is quoted as having said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” While this credo certainly applies to people, it is equally relevant to businesses. In addition to selling goods and services in exchange for a profit, commercial enterprises must also pay local, state and federal taxes. The laws governing these duties can be quite complicated. To ensure that taxes are filed and paid without a hitch, many organizations engage the services of a tax analyst.

Daily Tasks

Tax analysts spend their days preparing tax returns for a company’s monthly, quarterly and annual filings to the state tax authority and the Internal Revenue Service. These include sales, local business, gross income and property taxes. As issues arise, they may be required to research tax laws to ensure that all returns are accurate. They may also routinely audit a business’ records so that all previous taxes were properly documented, filed and paid. Tax analysts may also develop new processes and operational best practices to ensure the business handles tax issues more efficiently and in compliance with changing tax laws.

Educational Requirements

A formal education is required to obtain employment as a tax analyst. Those interested in pursuing this career must have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field of study. Although a master’s degree is not required, post-graduate study may make an applicant more desirable to potential employers. Some colleges and universities have dual bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, in which students are awarded both degrees upon graduation.

Certified Public Accountant

Although not always required for employment, the Certified Public Accountant credential may increase a job seeker’s marketability. Awarded by each state's Board of Accountancy, the CPA designation is obtained after successfully completing a nationally-administered examination. Each state might have its own additional requirements. In most cases, candidates must have 150 semester hours of college-level coursework. Those who complete dual bachelor’s and master’s degree programs generally meet this requirement when they graduate.

Potential Salary

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not break down compensation information specifically for tax analysts, the bureau reported in 2013 that the average salary for accountants and auditors was $72,500. Those who earned the highest wage in this profession worked in the securities and commodity intermediation and brokerage sectors. The lowest earners made $40,370 or less, and the highest paid made more than $113,740 or more per year.



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