Tax Careers: A Guide to the Different Careers in Tax

Everyone agrees: there’s nothing more wonderful than taxes. The IRS received more than 154 million individual income tax returns in 2019. 

The sheer number of tax returns creates opportunities for tax careers. If you want to work hard and earn plenty of money, you should look into tax jobs. 

What are the most common kinds of tax jobs? What job should you select if you want to make taxes one part of your work? What should you do if you want to dive into the world of taxes? 

Answer these questions and you can take advantage of taxes for your career. Here is your quick guide.

Tax Lawyer

If you want to remain a tax analyst while working in the law, you can become a tax lawyer. This lets you advise companies on how they can comply with tax codes. You can also represent people suing the government over tax violations. 

Keep in mind that there are separate tax codes for state and federal law. You should study both sets of codes and take legal classes on them.

Certified Public Accountant

A certified public accountant (CPA) is an all-around finance professional. You should become a CPA if you want to make tax work one component of a broad portfolio. 

As a CPA, you can help companies reach their tax goals. You can prepare tax filings and point out exemptions that companies and individuals can apply for. Experienced CPAs work with the Securities and Exchange Commission on tax reports.

Payroll Specialist

A payroll specialist oversees how a company pays its employees. If you become a specialist, you will spend your time issuing paychecks and tracking how employees spend their time. 

You become involved in taxes through paying payroll taxes. You also have to correct errors in tax reports, which can be technical in nature. You should become a specialist only if you like handling small details and technical problems.

Tax Preparer

A tax preparer is a manager of tax returns. They work for a few different companies and individuals at once. They collect documents and submit forms to the IRS and state government. 

You have to be an educated tax professional in order to become a preparer. You should take classes on tax laws and policies, learning how to file reports. You must be willing to handle projects on your own with minimal assistance.


An auditor investigates whether institutions are in compliance with tax laws. This involves interviewing company employees and looking through documents. Auditors have some of the highest tax salaries, but auditing can be long and strenuous work.

The Best Tax Careers

Tax careers are quite versatile. Becoming a tax lawyer will let you combine the law with tax work. If you prefer to work in finance, you should become a CPA. 

If you want to focus on one particular component of taxes, you can become a payroll specialist and handle payroll taxes. Tax preparers handle tax returns for companies and individuals.

Auditors are investigators who ensure that people comply with regulations. You can work for the state or federal government.

Don’t stop looking for great jobs. Read more guides to financial jobs on our blog today!