Business Tax Lawyer: Job Description and Education Requirements

Business tax lawyers require a significant amount formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Sometimes called a tax attorney, a business tax lawyer works to help companies and individuals avoid legal complications pertaining to various tax issues. After completing a bachelor's and a Juris Doctor degree, aspiring business tax lawyers need to obtain appropriate state licensure in order to practice.

Essential Information

Business tax lawyers are lawyers whose specialty is tax law as it pertains to businesses and corporations, though they are often trained in working with an individual's taxes as well. Before they can begin working to maintain their clients' legal and financial affairs, tax attorneys must first earn bachelor's degrees and then complete law degrees, as well as pass state bar exams.

Required Education Bachelor's and Juris Doctor degrees
Other Requirements State licensure
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% for all lawyers
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $115,820 for all lawyers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Business Tax Lawyer Job Description

Business tax lawyers, or as they're sometimes called, tax attorneys, help businesses with their tax-related issues, keeping them out of legal trouble. They do this by putting together documents related to the company's tax liabilities. Some of the issues the business tax lawyer works with the business on may include income tax, gift tax, federal, state, local and foreign taxes, depending on the company and its customer reach.

Other Job Duties

In addition to tracking tax liabilities, business tax lawyers often counsel and oversee their clients' activities as they pertain to taxes. They act as financial advisors to the companies with which they work.

In order to offer comprehensive financial advice, the business tax lawyer must be up to date on all tax laws for all businesses, large and small. IRS and business regulations often change due to public policy and tax lawyers must keep up with changing regulations.

Business Tax Lawyer Education Requirements

Like all lawyers, tax attorneys must earn their bachelor's degree from an accredited university and then spend three years in law school to earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. After completing the law degree, aspiring tax lawyers must take their state's written bar examination to become licensed lawyers.

Many law schools offer tax law as a formal specialization for students. Tax lawyers learn how to advise and work as attorneys for both businesses and individuals. Tax attorneys often decide to specialize in either business or individual taxes.

Salary and Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for lawyers will grow by 6% between 2014 and 2024, which is about average compared to other job sectors. The median annual salary for lawyers in May 2015 was $115,820, per the BLS.

Business tax lawyers are licensed lawyers that pass a state bar exam, and that have a solid grasp of finance. They must maintain a current knowledge of IRS and business regulations, as well as tax laws that relate to businesses. Job opportunities for all lawyers are expected to grow at rate that is about average through the 2014-2024 decade.

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