Find accounting schools near you
What Do You Learn in Tax Accounting Programs?
Tax accountants work with individuals and corporations They calculate tax liability, prepare tax returns, and provide tax advice. To become an accountant, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a business degree with a focus in accounting. This is the bare minimum requirement. Most tax accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). This is because most companies prefer to hire CPAs. Many state accountancy boards require certain courses that aren’t offered in undergraduate degree programs, so a graduate degree in accounting may better prepare you for the CPA exam in some states.
The required courses for undergraduate accounting degree programs give students the opportunity to learn about preparing federal and state tax returns. Students also learn about cost accounting, payroll accounting, and management accounting. Specific courses are:
- Accounting Information Systems
- Business Management
- Business Taxation
- Cost Accounting
- Federal and State Income Taxes
- Individual Income Taxation
- Payroll Accounting
Undergraduate accounting programs typically offer tax accounting as a focus area, not a degree program. This means your degree will be in accounting with a tax accounting focus. Some schools offer tax accountant certificate programs, and schools of accountancy may offer a minor in tax accounting. Certificate programs and minors offer the opportunity to study and learn in many of the areas listed, but not all. However, a certificate or a minor in tax accounting might be enough to secure an entry-level position at a bank, non-profit, business, or government agency. Nevertheless, because of the amount of knowledge and practice gained in higher degree programs, most firms prefer a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a tax accounting focus for mid to upper level positions.
The courses offered through many accounting programs prepare students for accounting credential exams such as Accredited Business Accountant, Accredited Tax Preparer, or Accredited Tax Advisor. These exams are offered by Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation.