Take a Closer Look at Today's Tax Accountant Salary

By Robert Half on September 22, 2017 at 9:30am

What do you know about tax accountant salary benchmarks for 2020, along with the duties and demand for such roles in corporate accounting?

If you're an experienced tax accountant, you’ll be glad to hear your specialist skills are in high demand, according to the Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals. The average tax accountant salary is rising as employers compete for the best candidates in this hot area.

And if you’re seeking your first tax accountant job, you’ll find that even entry-level positions can offer attractive compensation.

What is the midpoint tax accountant salary?

To benchmark your tax accountant salary, review the Salary Guide, which lists starting salaries based on actual placements throughout the United States, as well as an analysis of the demand for the role, the supply of talent and other market conditions. Here are a few tax accountants salary projections:

  • The starting salary midpoint for a tax accountant with one to three years’ experience in corporate accounting is expected to be $73,500 in 2020.
  • For those who have less than one year of experience as a tax accountant, the projected starting salary is $54,250.
  • For tax accountants with the title of manager, the projected midpoint salary is $111,750.
  • Senior tax accountants can expect starting salaries of $90,250 at the midpoint.
  • In financial services, the salary midpoint for a tax accountant in 2020 is $70,000.

When a manager establishes a starting tax accountant salary, multiple factors come into play — experience level, skills and expertise, and job complexity and duties. At the midpoint, candidates have average experience with the necessary skills to meet the job requirements, and the role may be in an industry where competition for talent is moderate.


Tax accountant duties and expectations

Your responsibilities as a tax accountant depend on your level of experience. In entry-level tax accountant jobs, you can expect to do these tasks:

  • Assist with tax preparation
  • Research and maintain tax records
  • Administer the tax compliance calendar

More experienced tax accountants will also typically do the following:

  • Research tax laws and regulations
  • Complete corporate tax returns
  • Respond to tax authority communications
  • Assist with tax audits

Professional experience and skills

Entry-level tax accountants need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. Gaining relevant work experience during college will make your resume more attractive to hiring managers.

If you want to progress to a senior tax accountant role, you’ll find an MBA or a professional accreditation — such as the CPA or CMA (certified management accountant) designation — can give you an edge.

Every tax accountant needs top-notch research, organization and communication skills, along with proficiency in Microsoft Excel. A commitment to ethics and a strong attention to detail are also critical.

For tax accountant positions requiring more than one year of experience, employers seek candidates who understand enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems as well.

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