A corporate tax manager is involved in preparing and managing a company's taxes. He or she conducts research on tax laws, files documents, plans tax returns, helps determine the company's budget, offers tax advice for company decision making and investments, and works with tax advisers and auditors outside the company. To become a corporate tax manager, you will need a bachelor's or master's degree in general accounting or tax accounting, four or more years of experience and, often, the certified public accountant (CPA) credential.
A bachelor's degree in accounting is usually the minimum degree needed to become a corporate tax manager, and basic tax courses are usually part of the degree's major requirements. Some programs offer a concentration in tax accounting or let students take additional tax courses as electives. Some employers may prefer that you earn an additional certificate related to taxation or that you have a master's degree in tax accounting or business administration. Becoming a licensed CPA is another common requirement to become a corporate tax manager, and a master's degree or additional accounting courses may be required to sit for the exam.
It requires a solid knowledge of the current tax laws to become a corporate tax manager, and you should be especially knowledgeable about how these tax laws affect different forms of businesses. As a corporate tax manager, you will help prepare the company's tax returns and must use your tax knowledge to help the company make the best investments and budgeting decisions. You also should be able to work well with others so you can work with outside auditors and give tax advice to clients. The job also may require you to train other tax accountants and provide direction with projects.
Although some employers only require four years of experience, others want you to have 10 years of experience to become a corporate tax manager. Your experience usually has to be related to taxation at a corporate level, so basic financial and management accounting experience may not count toward the requirement. Employers also like to see experience working in various corporate structures, because it exposes you to more advanced tax concepts and business processes. The path to becoming a corporate tax manager often involves working as a staff accountant and eventually specializing in tax accounting for several years. If you only have experience in general accounting, then continuing education can provide the specialized knowledge you need to obtain a position in tax accounting.