Overview of Taxation as a College Major

A substantial number of master's degree programs that focus on taxation are directed towards those who are in the accounting field and already have some work experience. Some of the programs offer both evening and weekend classes in order to accommodate those who work full-time.

A Master in Taxation or Master of Science in Taxation is beneficial for those professionals who are interested in using their knowledge to become decision makers regarding estate, gift, income and other taxes. These programs are geared toward accountants and attorneys.

Skills Developed in a Taxation Degree Program

Whether you pursue the Master in Taxation or the Master of Science in Taxation, you will still gain the skills necessary to prepare returns, assist tax auditors, work with revenue authorities and provide advice on taxation to clients and employers. Most of the programs are geared toward accountants, but there are some programs that are geared towards lawyers as well. In addition to obtaining advanced tax practice and planning skills students will also learn the proper way to conduct legal research and evaluate person and business situations in order to provide advice on tax planning.

In order to enter either of the Master's programs in taxation, you will probably need to possess a Bachelor's degree in Business with a major in accounting. Some programs may accept students with a different major, but they will need to complete courses in financial accounting, finance, management and microeconomics before they will be permitted to work on any course requirements for their graduate degree. Students must also show proficiency in calculus.

The coursework for this advanced degree focuses on tax law, preparation of returns, regulatory compliance and government policy. Students will learn how to conduct tax research, represent clients undergoing an audit and helping client minimize their tax liability. Some of the courses students may be required to study include:

  • Taxation of partnerships and corporations
  • Tax planning
  • Employment taxation
  • Tax procedure
  • Property taxes
  • International business

Career Opportunities for Taxation

A Bachelor's degree is usually acceptable for auditors and accountants, but management, senior and specialized positions may require a Master's degree. Projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the need for accountants and auditors should increase by 22 percent between 2008-2018 with median income falling around $61,690 in 2010. They did not indicate any projections for those with higher degrees.

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