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What does a Tax Manager do?

By R. Stamm
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Tax managers are responsible for devising, implementing and overseeing the tax plan for a business or client and performing managerial functions in the office. They prepare the required government documents concerning taxes, ensure the accuracy of these documents, and offer solutions to pressing tax problems. Depending on the client, the amount of education, and experience required, managers must be familiar with international, domestic, state, and local tax laws. A tax manager is typically considered an experienced, trusted adviser to senior management and is capable of working with a diverse group of people to further the goals of the company.

The primary responsibility of a tax manager is to accurately and efficiently manage tax reporting and planning and ensure compliance of tax laws for the company or client. The position requires expertise with tax laws and regulations at the international, federal, state, and local levels depending on the client’s needs. The manager oversees the completion of accurate tax returns, which helps minimize the tax obligations of the client, and offers solutions to the client based on need. Managers offer solutions and work with staff to improve the quality of employee performance while simultaneously working with senior management to meet the businesses tax objectives.

Tax managers must have at least five to 10 years prior experience along with good judgment to plan and accomplish the tax goals of the company. Ideal candidates for this position usually possess advanced analytical skills, strategic thinking skills, the ability to analyze complex data, and the ability to multitask. A tax manager or supervisor usually has superb written, verbal, and editorial skills along with the ability to perform presentations for clients. Good communication skills and excellent interpersonal skills are necessary to manage the tax accounting staff, report to upper management, and work with project stakeholders in multiple phases of project planning.

A position as a tax manager usually requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in taxation or accounting from an accredited university and a considerable amount of experience. A degree in taxation is useful, as it covers all aspects of taxation and tax law, including managerial accounting, corporate income tax and procedures and practices in taxation. Auditing, information systems for accounting, tax planning, and theory of accounting are also involved. Most managers begin their careers in an entry-level position as a Certified Public Accountant or related role and then progress into a management position as experience is gained.

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Discussion Comments
By anon973457 — On Oct 11, 2014

I can't believe that a tax manager has to handle all these responsibilities! Quite fitting if you ask me. You will need to have at least four to six years of collegiate experience with internships.

By KaBoom — On Oct 04, 2011

@Monika - Good points!

I found this article really interesting because I didn't realize that there was any room for a certified public accountant to advance. I sort of thought people just because accountants and continued to be accountants. But it sounds like if they wanted to, they could be a tax manager after a few years.

I personally can't understand why anyone would want this job though. Tax law in this country is complicated, and you can get in a lot of trouble if you even make a mistake on a tax return. I don't think I would want that kind of responsibility.

By Monika — On Oct 03, 2011

I think it's really important for business to hire a good tax manager. One of the first steps to being a good business owner is admitting that you can't do everything. Plus, the tax code in this country is so complicated, you really need an advanced degree to understand it!

Hiring a reputable tax manager is important, too. Sure, there are plenty of ways to illegally get out of paying your taxes, but eventually it will catch up with you. If you hire an ethical and well-informed tax manager, you can find legal ways to reduce your tax burden.

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