Becoming a Successful Tax Consultant: Education and Career Road Map

Bachelor’s Degree

To be a tax expert, you should have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting. Graduates of the two mentioned courses are expected to demonstrate base knowledge of tax law, tax preparation, accounting methods, and financial theories. There are academic programs in these fields that are offering specializations in taxation.

Tax firms prefer applicants with degrees in finance or accounting for entry-level positions. Accounting and finance departments of corporations also prefer those people. These entry-level jobs give them the experience they need and prepare them to be expert tax advisors of individuals and businesses in the future.

Juris Doctor Degree

There are some who are not satisfied with a bachelor’s degree and wish to pursue an even higher education. After graduating from a bachelor’s degree, others continue with a law degree in taxation. If you have a Juris Doctor degree in taxation, it means that you had legal education emphasizing on tax laws. These people are expected to have a thorough knowledge about federal income taxes, tax laws concerning many different countries, business taxes, taxation of trust, and many other areas of tax laws, which include state tax laws and capital gains taxes.

Continuing Professional Education

Learning never ends, especially in the field of tax consultancy. If you wish to be an Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA), you must have no less than five years of professional experience in tax preparation. Those who have that experience may apply for credentials with the ACAT. It’s difficult to gain that accreditation but it’s more difficult to maintain it. To maintain being an Accredited Tax Advisor, you should have 90 credit hours of continuing education over 3-year cycles; these credit hours include a total of 86 hours of financial/tax-related education and 4 hours of ethics courses.

Aside from colleges and universities, the National Society of Accountants is also offering continuing education courses that are approved by the ACAT. There are also some tax-related continuing education programs online.

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