How Do I Become a Corporate Tax Manager?

The preparation and management of a company’s taxes is the responsibility of a corporate tax manager. He or she conducts tax law research, files documents, plans tax returns, assists in determining the company’s budget, provides tax advice for company decision-making and investments, and collaborates with outside tax advisers and auditors. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in general accounting or tax accounting, four or more years of experience, and, in many cases, the certified public accountant (CPA) credential are all required to work as a corporate tax manager.

A bachelor’s degree in accounting is typically required to work as a corporate tax manager, and basic tax courses are typically included as part of the degree’s major requirements. Some programs allow students to specialize in tax accounting or take additional tax courses as electives. Some employers may prefer that you have a master’s degree in tax accounting or business administration or that you have earned an additional certificate related to taxation. A master’s degree or additional accounting courses may be required to sit for the CPA exam, which is another common requirement for becoming a corporate tax manager.

To work as a corporate tax manager, you must have a thorough understanding of current tax laws, with a particular focus on how these laws affect different types of businesses. As a corporate tax manager, you will assist in the preparation of the company’s tax returns and will be expected to use your tax knowledge to assist the company in making the best investment and budgeting decisions possible. You should also be able to collaborate with others so that you can work with outside auditors and give clients tax advice. You may also be required to train other tax accountants and provide project direction.

Although some employers only require four years of experience to become a corporate tax manager, others require ten years of experience. Basic financial and management accounting experience may not count toward the requirement because it must be related to taxation at a corporate level. Employers prefer candidates who have worked in a variety of corporate structures because it exposes them to more advanced tax concepts and business processes. Working as a staff accountant and eventually specializing in tax accounting for several years is a common path to becoming a corporate tax manager. If you only have general accounting experience, continuing education can help you gain the specialized knowledge you need to work in tax accounting.