For many years, CPAs have been professionals who prepare tax return information and organize tax obligations on behalf of clients. The career has become even more complex with the advent of computer accounting and the Internet. Online tax preparation is a growing industry in the United Kingdom. As more people rely on online tax preparation services to save time and money, more people are turning to account firms for assistance. Accountants now can help individuals and small businesses prepare their yearly tax reports and take care of the complex world of tax laws.
Part-Timers and Freelancers
While many accountants work part-time and freelance, some are now employed by large accounting firms that employ hundreds or even thousands of employees. Full-time accountants are required to work eight hours a day, seven days a week. At times this means six or more weekends a month. Some full-time accountants work freelance only, setting themselves up with websites and telephone answering services to handle incoming calls. Other full-time accountants now work within an agency of large accounting firms, where they meet regularly with an administrative assistant to prepare tax reports on their behalf and file the appropriate paperwork with the government.
Full-Time Tax Accountants
Most full-time tax accountants work on a commission basis, receiving a certain percentage of all financial statements and returns. This percentage is generally percentage-based, with the top-paying agencies receiving forty percent of the total return. While the average tax accountant makes between one and two hundred dollars per hour, high-dollar agencies can pay as much as one hundred and fifty dollars per hour. Salaries can also be made hourly or by the project, depending upon the accounting firm and accountants’ qualifications.
Education and Experience
Obtaining an education and experience working with people in accounting, law, auditing, and other fields is the first step toward becoming a professional tax accountant. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) offers courses and educational seminars designed to prepare students for their state exams. Students need to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college to apply. A bachelor’s degree holder will need to pass the Certified Public Accountant exam, which can be done at the local university or college. Graduates of the exam can take a test that covers all state taxation laws.
The second step in the process is to seek jobs in a few of the top accounting firms. Interviewing is the first step in the hiring process. A candidate may call a company’s human resources department to inquire about salary and job experience requirements. They can also do this on their own, visiting the office and speaking with employees. The best way to find out what they expect of a candidate is to ask about their salary and job experience requirements directly.
Keeps up with Current Tax Laws
A good tax accountant always keeps up with current tax laws so that he or she can give his or her clients correct, professional advice regarding their taxes. The number of accountants working in the field today has more than quadrupled over the last ten years. Many of these accountants receive tips from their clients on how to file their tax returns properly. They also prepare the required tax return documents. A tax accountant needs to ensure that his or her clients meet the requirements set forth by the Internal Revenue Service before submitting their tax returns to the agency.
There are two types of Tax Accountants
individuals who do the entire preparation and filing on their own, or those who work for an outside firm. An individual who does the entire preparation and filing on their own must be skilled in English, chemistry, math, tax codes, and any other subject matter specific to income tax returns. Income tax accountants working for an external firm must be knowledgeable in all areas of preparation, filing, and auditing of income tax returns. These accountants should have extensive experience in preparing and filing federal and state income tax returns as well as knowledge of any additional tax requirements their clients may be subject to.
When searching for a tax accountant, it is helpful to inquire about the accountant’s tax law salary. Most states require that accountants who will be working for their clients be certified by the state. Certified tax accountants (CAT) are required to obtain an accounting degree and complete a three-year apprenticeship program, which is often required of all prospective CPA candidates before they can apply for state certification.