Masters-Level Taxation Careers
Learn about a few of the career options for graduates of a master's degree program in taxation. We also discuss the master's degree program and common courses.
Those looking to get into a career affiliated with tax law are often required to know the U.S. federal and state taxes inside and out. Taxation professionals may work with individuals, small businesses, nonprofits, or corporations. Many are employed as certified public accountants, financial advisors, chief financial officers, and advisors to tax law courts.
Certified Public Accountant
In addition to preparing individuals' taxes, certified public accountants (CPAs) often advise clients on issues related to their taxes and income. A master's degree in taxation is not required for this position, but most states require individuals interested in becoming CPAs must complete 150 credits of college coursework to be eligible for the Uniform CPA Exam, through which states license certified public accountants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed accountants and auditors was expected to increase 11% between 2014 and 2024, which is about average in comparison to other job sectors. As of 2016, the median salary among these professionals was $68,150.
Financial advisors assess the financial needs of individuals, corporations, or nonprofits. Advisors help their clients plan for both long-term and short-term goals, including education expenses, retirement plans, budgeting, and general investments. The BLS notes that personal financial advisors may see a 30% uptick in job opportunities from 2014 to 2024. These professionals earned median salaries of $90,530 as of 2016.
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Chief Financial Officer
A chief financial officer (CFO) is the person responsible for the finances of a corporation. They may review financial risks, create business plans, and keep financial records. The CFO may analyze the financial data within a company and report his or her findings to the company's board of directors and chief executive officer. According to PayScale.com, the median salary among chief financial officers was $127,564 as of March 2017.
Advisor to Tax Law Court
Tax law court advisors help judges who oversee cases concerning tax law. They may conduct legal research, draft opinions, and perform other services to aid the judge prior to trials. According to the United States Tax Court, these advisors, or judicial clerks, make an average annual salary of $79,720 as of 2017.
Master's in Taxation Programs
A master's degree in taxation may be a designated Master of Taxation (M. Tax) program at a business school or a specialization within a Master of Business Administration. Master's programs in taxation are designed for aspiring or experienced tax professionals, such as IRS workers, financial planners, or public accountants, and may include the tax regulations of the school's home state.
Many four-year universities offer these programs, and students often take classes in estate tax, corporate tax, multi-state tax, state tax laws, retirement plans, and tax research. Additional courses deal with the U.S. constitutional limitations on taxing corporations, in-bound transactions, advantages dealing with ownership, and real estate and income taxation as it deals with capital assets.
A master's degree program in taxation prepares students for careers as CPAs, financial advisors, tax law court advisors, or CFOs. Graduates of these programs have obtained the required background in various tax laws, including estate tax, corporate tax, state tax, and more.