Many tax specialists begin as accountants or auditors who have earned a certified public accountant (CPA) credential, which certifies that they can provide taxation and accounting services to individuals or businesses. Alternatively, a tax specialist may be an enrolled agent (EA), a designation that indicates licensure by the IRS.
Courses for aspiring tax specialists are available through certificate and associate degree programs in accounting. Master's degree programs in tax accounting or taxation are also available to students with a bachelor's degree in business, finance or accounting.
Here are some common concepts in tax specialization courses:
- Rules and regulations
- Tracking and filing financial reports
- Types of forms
List of Common Tax Specialization Courses
Introduction to Finance and Accounting Course
This course provides basic instruction in accounting practices for individuals and businesses. Course topics include business transaction tracking, financial statement analysis and revenue recognition. Lectures also cover issues of assets and liability, cash flow and internal financial controls.
Principles of Taxation Course
Using IRS guidelines and publications, this course helps students prepare for the CPA exam, along with the enrolled agent (EA) certificate exam. Topics include types of property transactions and partnership issues, incorporation and corporation liquidation. Specific instruction includes form preparation, penalties, allowable deductions, tax gifts and estate taxes. Students are encouraged to master basic principles of accounting prior to taking this course.
Tax Preparation Software Course
This course provides aspiring tax specialists with the skills necessary to use commercial tax preparation software, such as TurboTax. Students are introduced to the electronic tax return process, including current software patches and updates. They are also instructed in programming logic, as well as information input and output flow.
Individual Income Tax Preparation Course
Tax specialists are trained to prepare basic income taxes for individual clients and decipher complicated taxation scenarios. Instruction focuses on the theory behind federal income tax rules and guidelines. It also provides hands-on practice with income tax forms and sample preparation situations.
Business Income Tax Preparation Course
This course focuses on the tax preparation needs of small businesses and large corporations. Instruction includes current tax changes and reforms. Programs may offer specialized instruction in the effects of current taxation legislation on business payroll practices.