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Career profile Tax Advisor

Also known as Certified Income Tax Preparer (CTP), Corporate Tax Preparer, Enrolled Agent, Income Tax Preparer, Tax Advisor, Tax Associate, Tax Consultant, Tax Preparer, Tax Professional, Tax Specialist

Tax Advisor

Also known as Certified Income Tax Preparer (CTP), Corporate Tax Preparer, Enrolled Agent

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Social
Pay Range
$22,090 - $93,540 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Use all appropriate adjustments, deductions, and credits to keep clients' taxes to a minimum.
  • Compute taxes owed or overpaid, using adding machines or personal computers, and complete entries on forms, following tax form instructions and tax tables.
  • Interview clients to obtain additional information on taxable income and deductible expenses and allowances.
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What does a Tax Advisor do?

Tax Advisors prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses.

What kind of tasks does a Tax Advisor perform regularly?

Tax Advisors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Use all appropriate adjustments, deductions, and credits to keep clients' taxes to a minimum.
  • Compute taxes owed or overpaid, using adding machines or personal computers, and complete entries on forms, following tax form instructions and tax tables.
  • Interview clients to obtain additional information on taxable income and deductible expenses and allowances.
  • Review financial records, such as income statements and documentation of expenditures to determine forms needed to prepare tax returns.
  • Prepare or assist in preparing simple to complex tax returns for individuals or small businesses.
  • Check data input or verify totals on forms prepared by others to detect errors in arithmetic, data entry, or procedures.
  • Furnish taxpayers with sufficient information and advice to ensure correct tax form completion.
  • Consult tax law handbooks or bulletins to determine procedures for preparation of atypical returns.
  • Explain federal and state tax laws to individuals and companies.
  • Answer questions and provide future tax planning to clients.
  • Calculate form preparation fees according to return complexity and processing time required.
  • Schedule appointments with clients.

The above responsibilities are specific to Tax Advisors. More generally, Tax Advisors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

What is a Tax Advisor salary?

The median salary for a Tax Advisor is $44,300, and the average salary is $52,710. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Tax Advisor salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Tax Advisors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Tax Advisors earn less than $22,090 per year, 25% earn less than $29,310, 75% earn less than $65,960, and 90% earn less than $93,540.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Tax Advisors is expected to change by 1.6%, and there should be roughly 9,800 open positions for Tax Advisors every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$22,090 - $93,540
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Tax Advisors?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Tax Advisor are usually higher in their Conventional and Enterprising interests.

Tax Advisors typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Tax Advisors typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Tax Advisor tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Tax Advisors moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Tax Advisors moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Tax Advisors moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Tax Advisors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Tax Advisors, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Tax Advisors need?

Tax Advisors often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Tax Advisors usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Tax Advisors

  • 2.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 10.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.2% completed some college coursework
  • 11.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 32.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 15.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 5.9% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Tax Advisors

Tax Advisors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, economics and accounting, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Tax Advisors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Tax Advisors

Tax Advisors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Tax Advisors need abilities such as near vision, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Tax Advisors, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Tax Advisors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Tax Advisors frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Tax Advisors, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Using mathematics to solve problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.