Tax Auditor Job Description
Tax auditors examine and analyze tax documents and financial records. Typically, tax auditors are hired by tax preparation services and governments to work full-time daytime office hours and split their time between working in the office and on field assignments. Because tax auditors investigate various businesses and individuals, they travel frequently to perform their job duties. Tax auditors report to managers but work independently to complete assignments.
Tax Auditor Duties and Responsibilities
Tax auditors perform varied daily job duties because they travel to different businesses and examine a vast array of documents. However, these core job duties are common across the field:
Examine Financial Documents
Tax auditors examine tax documents, receipts, and financial records of all types to perform thorough audits. This includes traveling to various businesses and individual clients to examine their tax records.
Tax auditors analyze financial data to determine the correct amount of taxable income, applicable deductions, and nontaxable expenses.
Interpret Tax Laws
Tax auditors interpret federal, state, and city tax laws and regulations, and apply them to auditing procedures. They also explain these codes and regulations to taxpayers and clients.
Tax auditors collect delinquent taxes and tax reports from individuals and businesses.
Tax auditors write detailed reports of their findings for every audit they complete.
Tax auditors make recommendations for tax compliance and tax payments to the clients and business owners they audit.
Tax Auditor Skills and Qualifications
Tax auditors are detail-oriented professionals with a high degree of mathematical ability who examine documents and thoroughly investigate financial materials. Employers hire tax auditors who display the following skills:
- Math skills – tax auditors need a strong grasp of mathematics and finances to work with numbers and data all day
- Investigative skills – because tax auditors examine documents and find answers to financial questions, investigative skills are essential to this job
- Analytical thinking – tax auditors use their analytical skills to study documents and financial data and isolate important data
- Attention to detail – tax auditors need great attention to detail to thoroughly examine financial records, receipts, and documents of all types, and to locate essential information
- Problem-solving skills – tax auditors use problem-solving skills to apply tax laws and regulations to financial problems
- Communication skills – tax auditors use written and verbal communication skills to explain tax codes and create written reports
- Computer skills – tax auditors use software programs to create tax reports, download online forms, file tax information, and study tax laws, which requires excellent computer and internet skills
- Customer service – because tax auditors communicate with people they are auditing, customer service skills are highly desired by employers
Tools of the Trade
Tax auditors use these tools regularly:
- Accounting software (Sage, QuickBooks)
- Microsoft programs (Word, Excel)
Tax Auditor Education and Training
Employers seek tax auditors who have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Many employers will consider candidates who have a combination of education and past work history in accounting or auditing. Because of the amount of travel involved with this career, tax auditors must have a driver’s license and a reliable personal vehicle.
Training is not commonly provided for tax auditors, who should already have the education needed to perform thorough tax audits and financial field investigations. After being hired, tax auditors begin performing their job duties right away.
Tax Auditor Salary and Outlook
PayScale data shows that tax auditors earn a median yearly income of $45,958. Tax examiners and collectors and revenue agents of all types earn a median pay rate of $53,130 annually, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tax examiners and collectors and revenue agents perform the same duties as tax auditors, such as reviewing tax returns, collecting taxes, and conducting financial audits. There were more than 60,000 jobs for these professionals in 2016, a number that is projected to experience little or no change through 2026.
Typically, tax auditors receive benefits packages that feature medical insurance with dental and vision coverage. Life insurance and retirement benefits are usually included in these packages. Some employers provide additional benefits such as travel reimbursement and bonus incentives.
Study tax laws, learn career strategies, and stay current on important financial news using these helpful books and websites:
Tax Loopholes: Everything the Law Allows – find all the available tax loopholes that can be used legally with this handy reference tool
American Accounting Association – learn the most current tax policies and procedures and stay up to date on the latest tax laws at this website
Ethics in Accounting: A Decision-Making Approach – use this book to gain a better understanding of ethics for tax auditors and accounting professionals of all types, as well as how to apply them to common situations
International Association of Accountants, Auditors and Tax Consultants – visit this website to find tax news updates and new tax code changes and to learn more about upcoming financial industry events
U.S. Master Tax Guide (2018) – this guide is full of reference information for current U.S. federal taxes and details all the finer points of the most recent tax code
International Association of Accountants, Auditors and Tax Professionals – this website provides member benefits and services for all tax auditors and accounting professionals who work around the world
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