Taxation is the imposition of levies on individuals as well as businesses and corporations by governments. The revenues raised by taxes are used to fund public services, law enforcement and national defense, social welfare and healthcare, and other important government expenditures. In addition to being important for society, taxation is extremely important for businesses to understand, as various sales and corporate income taxes can have a significant impact on the bottom line of any company.
Because paying taxes has a major impact on both government and business revenues, submitting accurate federal tax returns are a legal requirement as well as a requirement for the financial statements that public companies must disclose to investors. Thus, businesses typically hire accountants with expertise in tax law, accounting terminology, and the application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to all the details of a company’s tax returns, including tax deductions, depreciation of assets, and business expenses.
Almost all companies, from sole proprietors to multinational corporations, rely on accountants to ensure that their taxes are paid properly and on time. These experts on taxation are responsible for examining financial statements, calculating taxes owed, and preparing and submitting state and federal tax returns that are accurate. Large companies may have full-time, in-house accountants to manage their financial statements and taxation, but many companies hire certified public accountants (CPA) who work at accounting firms.
Regardless of who you work for, if you are fluent in accounting terminology, the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and other key areas of accounting expertise, you will have an in-demand and well-paid career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants earned a median annual salary of $71,550 in May 2019, and these jobs will grow as fast as the average across the rest of the economy since they are generally tied to growth in the businesses that rely on them.
Yes! Coursera offers a wide range of courses on a variety of business topics, including in-depth courses and Specializations spanning multiple courses about taxation. You can learn remotely about corporate tax law, financial reporting, taxes for sole proprietors and individuals, taxation impacts on strategic business management, and other important subjects in this field. And, because you can learn from leading business schools for accounting including the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your education to learn online with Coursera.
People with good analytical skills and who are good with numbers are typically best suited to roles in taxation. Since taxation revolves heavily around numbers and laws, people who are good at math and who have a grasp of basic legal terminology can often be well suited for taxation roles. People who are precise and have an eye for fine details tend to excel at these roles. In addition, people with good time management skills and who are highly organized can generally do well in taxation positions. It can also be useful to have good communication skills and a knack for problem-solving.
Common career paths for people in taxation can typically include working for the government, performing tax accounting for accounting firms, and offering managerial accounting for businesses. In government jobs, people working in taxation can perform tasks like reviewing tax returns and communicating with tax filers. In accounting firms, taxation professionals can work with people and companies at tax-filing time as well as with companies on a year-round basis to help organizations ensure compliance with tax laws. In business settings, managerial accountants can manage taxation matters for the company with a goal of keeping tax debt low and ensuring legal compliance.
Topics you can study that are related to taxation include international tax law if you’re working in global business. Contract law and business entities are other topics you could study that are related to taxation. Additionally, you could study financial planning or learn about land transfers in coordination with your taxation studies.
Agencies that prepare taxes for people and individuals typically hire people who have a background in taxation. Some of the job titles for these jobs include tax preparer, tax associate, and tax professional. City, state, and federal agencies can hire people in taxation roles to handle tax payments from citizens and corporations. These agencies can also add taxation workers to assist taxpayers who have questions about taxes that are owed. Additionally, retail facilities can hire taxation professionals to handle sales tax and to manage things like depreciation of assets and payroll taxes.
This FAQ content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.