Tax Examiner Job Description and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the role of a tax examiner is straightforward: To ensure that the government gets the tax money it is owed.

Tax examiners typically deal with tax returns filed by individuals and small businesses, whether at the municipal, state or federal level. They confirm that taxpayers are claiming the appropriate deductions and credits, and assess penalties, interest and fees as necessary.

Job Outlook and Salary for Tax Examiners

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for tax examiners may depend on government budget changes at the local, state and federal levels.

The BLS said the median salary for tax examiners was $52,060 in May 2016 with those at the top 10% earning $97,440 annually and the lowest 10% earning $31,860.

Jobs with the federal government pay the most with a median salary of $59,340, followed by state and local government agencies, the BLS said.

Education and Training for Tax Examiners

In general, a bachelor’s degree, relevant experience or a combination of both are requirements for a career as a tax examiner, according to the BLS. The degree may be in a specific field such as business administration or accounting.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree or at least a year of experience in tax analysis, accounting or similar work.

Upon entering the profession, tax examiners are likely to undergo training and also must stay up to date on the changing landscape of tax laws.

Career Paths for Tax Examiners

In order to be effective, tax examiners typically must be detail-oriented and organized, as well as skilled in analysis and interpersonal communication. Opportunities for career advancement can include transitioning to handling more complicated tax returns as a revenue agent or moving to a management position.

The availability of advancement opportunities will vary based on whether the tax examiner is employed by a local, state or federal agency.

Military Occupational Specializations

The skills and knowledge required for employment as a tax examiner mirror those associated with a variety of military occupational specializations across branches of the armed forces.

Those military roles include: financial management technician and financial manager in the U.S. Army; and financial management officer, cost analysis officer and financial management comptroller in the U.S. Air Force.

In the U.S. Navy, sailors in the finance and accounting field deal with payroll, retail sales and expenses, among other duties.

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