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Studies & Degrees in Tax Law

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Tax law is concerned with the legislation that is formed by the government with the aim to collect money from citizens and businesses. The taxes they collect are an important source of revenue for the governments, and for this reason a set of laws and principles are required to ensure that tax is collected in a fair manner. Consequently, tax law specifies who and at what rate should be taxed. The legislation also deals with things like exemptions and non-payments.

Tax lawyers, or tax attorneys, come in the game when tax payers need to solve various issues with the government, regarding the taxes they need to pay. Tax attorneys would assist a taxpayer who has in some way infringed the law to have their fines reduced, liens removed, the lawyer could help them throughout an audit process, and also assist with tax procedures for small businesses and self-employed individuals. A tax attorney can also be very helpful to prevent any future tax problems, as they can predict potential fallbacks and can give advice on how to avoid them.

Personal Qualities

To become a tax attorney, you need to have an interest in this kind of legislation system, be very patient and consistent. Other qualities to consider are:

  • Excellent oral communication skills
  • Logical and analytical thinking
  • Outstanding problem-solving skills
  • Good at decision-making
  • Very good interpersonal qualities
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Good at memorizing large amounts of information

Study Options

Tax law is a sub-discipline of the study of law. This means that if you wish to become a tax attorney, you need to pursue a law degree, and then specialize in the area of tax law. This can typically happen in the middle of your studies, or you can complete your law degree, and then look for further education in the area of tax law.

A very common trend is that law students at some point appreciate that tax legislation has a large impact on not only commerce, but personal matters as well. They realize that every lawyer has to be very well acquainted with the laws of taxation, as businesses and individuals often ask their attorney about tax matters. Another interesting fact is that tax law programs actually cover a number of areas, which include real estate, estates and trust, partnership, corporate, and international tax law. All of these are usually studied if you decide to pursue an LLM – a master of laws degree. In any case, you should look for an accredited institution, which has proven connection to the professional world, so that you can secure your job even before you have finished your degree.

Career Options

Tax lawyers can work in a number of settings. You can easily start on a graduate program at a law firm, and then go on to work independently giving private consultations. You could be the personal tax lawyer of individuals, or you can work as part of the legal department in a large corporation. Once you have gained some experience, you can easily decide whether you wish to focus on small businesses and individuals, or deal with the tax issues of bigger, international companies.

Job positions for Tax Law:

Tax Preparer

Tax Preparer is a profession that falls into the business, management, and fiscal or involves financial matters. They help or assist individuals in registering or filing their taxes. They study and analyze the financial statements of individuals and organizations to assure accuracy with set up accounting principle and in accordance to the tax rules and laws.

Other typical responsibilities of a Tax Preparer are the following:

  • Computes, prepares, and releases documents connected to accounts for instance, bills, inventory reports, invoices, and other financial statements utilizing manual and computer systems.

  • Validates and settle transactions such as payroll, invoices, account receivable and payable, cheque requisitions, purchase orders and bank statements.

  • Collects data and documents regarding budget based on approximated or figured income, operating expense and previous financial statement.

  • Prepares the outlay reports.

  • Estimates cost of materials based on price lists and quotations.

  • Takes action to client queries.

  • Does clerical tasks, like filing of record, photocopying and faxing.

Tax Preparers must maintain privacy or confidentiality of the entire customers and business or establishment information. They normally work under the management of certified public accountant, attorney and tax consultant and some Tax Preparers work as a freelance. Generally, the tax preparing is not a regular year around occupation. The occupied or fully engaged season for a Tax Preparer is from January to April.

Tax Preparer must have the ability to work on their own initiative in a fast placed environment to cope with the target deadlines. Knowledge in preparing business tax returns is also an advantage. They must be willing to learn the computer software application in tax preparation which is necessary to accomplish or perform everyday responsibilities.
Some of the character traits and aptitude that are needed for this kind of career include being flexible, motivated, achiever, outgoing person, organizational skills, oral and written abilities, interpersonal skills, abilities in figures and mathematical formulas, knowledge in computer tax preparation software (TurboTax, TaxCut and TaxACT) and expertise in general accounting and current tax laws is an additional factor or advantage.

The required education for a Tax Preparer is a 4-year college degree or at least 2-year associate degree in related field. There are several training courses and certifications that offer different levels of erudition or learning and advancement of knowledge with regard to business and corporate taxes, personal income taxes, tax credits and other categories of taxes.

According to the salary survey report, the approximate salary for Tax Preparer particularly in New York, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Denver, Phoenix, Indianapolis and Orlando ranges from 30,000 to $70,000 per year. But it also depends to the company, location, duties and responsibilities, projects and level of expertise.