If you're a whiz at taxes, then perhaps, with some training, you can find a successful career helping others who are undergoing a tax audit. This article briefly explores three types of tax representative: attorneys, certified public accountants, and revenue agents.
A tax representative acts on a client's behalf during a tax problem or IRS audit. Careers as a tax representative are available in state and federal government, as well as through financing corporations. Most tax representatives need at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as accounting, though graduate or professional degrees are required for some career tracks. Certification or licensure may be required as well.
|Career||Tax Attorney||Certified Public Accountant||Revenue Agent|
|Required Education||Law degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||State bar exam||CPA certification||N/A|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-24)||6% for lawyers*||11%*||-6%*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$115,820 for lawyers*||$67,190*||$51,430*|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Information for a Tax Representative
Tax representatives are typically tax attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs), certified tax resolution specialists (CTRSs) or enrolled agents. Not only can they represent a client on the state level, they can also help resolve tax problems or assist during an IRS audit on a client's behalf.
Many tax representatives work for state departments specializing in government financing or financial companies. According the Internal Revenue Service, tax representatives must hold a state license, certification credentials through agencies such as the American Institute of CPAs or pass an exam administered by the Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility to assist clients with lawsuits or audits on the federal level.
Tax representative's job duties include representing different clients in court hearings, communicating with the board or division of appeals and filing the documents that are necessary in determining the outcome of their client's case. Those working for a financial company may also be required to process refund checks, cooperate with local tax officers, provide customer service support for tax-related inquiries and assist third-party companies in developing a payment plan for the financial company's services.
A client's case can deal with the taxes or property for which he or she is liable. However, tax representatives that deal with property are known as property tax representatives.
Tax Representative Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median salary of $51,430 for tax examiners and collectors and revenue agents as of May 2015. They also reported a median salary of $115,820 for lawyers and $67,190 for accountants and auditors. According to the BLS, accountants and auditors, including CPAs, are expected to see an average employment growth of 11% from 2014-2024. Additionally, the projected job outlook for lawyers, including tax lawyers, was 6% growth in those same years, while jobs for revenue agents, along with tax examiners and collectors, were expected to decrease by 6% in that time period.
Attorneys, CPAs and certified tax resolution agents can all represent taxpayers in audits. They need at least a bachelor's degree, and certification or licensure in some cases. Of these occupations, CPAs; the BLS predicts the higher than average growth in the number of jobs for accountants.