Earning a Master's in Taxation Online

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Should I Pursue a Master's in Taxation Online?

Master's in taxation online programs offer specialized degrees covering complex topics in tax accounting. Graduates can gain transferable and highly marketable skills that open doors to a variety of lucrative career possibilities, including positions as enrolled agents, government auditors, and tax planners. Professionals with a master's in taxation also work in tax research, international compliance, corporate financial management, and estate planning.

Pursuing a master's in taxation online offers many advantages, particularly flexibility, affordability, and convenience to suit busy schedules. Online students can save money by avoiding commuting and housing costs, and some universities charge resident tuition even for nonresidents. To explore the potential of this degree and advance your career goals, contact alums for informational interviews and be sure to discuss your plans with an adviser.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Taxation Graduates

Master's in Taxation Salary

Salary potential for graduates of top master's in taxation programs varies by experience level and geographic location. PayScale data on salaries for accountants show an annual average salary of $46,000 at the entry level and $54,000 in the late-career stages. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that average annual salaries for accountants and auditors in New York, New Jersey, Virgina, California, and Alaska rank significantly above the U.S. mean. See the tables below for a brief summary of average accountant salaries and employment figures by state and experience level.

Top Paying States for Accountants and Auditors

State Employment Annual Mean Wage
New York 108,130 $95,430
New Jersey 37,110 $91,400
Virginia 38,330 $84,740
California 143,670 $83,540
Alaska 2,180 $82,040
United States 1,397,700 $69,350

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pay by Experience Level for Accountants

  • Entry-Level (0-5 Years):
    $46,000
  • Mid-Career (5-10 Years):
    $51,000
  • Experienced (10-20 Years):
    $53,000
  • Late-Career (20+ Years):
    $54,000

Source: PayScale

Master's in Taxation Careers

Accountants with a master's in taxation possess in-depth analytical and communication skills applicable to several career paths. Many accountants become certified public accountants (CPAs) and then go on to specialize in taxation, acting as trusted advisers to businesses and government entities. A few common job titles include tax researcher, tax compliance officer, revenue agent, and tax examiner. Students interested in tax law may continue their education in law school. Tax accountants specializing in international taxation often pursue opportunities for international business travel.

Accountants and Auditors

Annual Median Salary: $69,350

Projected Growth Rate: 10%

Accountants and auditors provide recording, analysis, and auditing services for financial data. They examine financial statements to ensure accuracy and compliance with generally accepted accounting principles. Their job duties include monitoring control procedures, preparing reports, and reviewing financial documentation for tax filing. With a master's degree in taxation, accountants can specialize in tax research.

Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents

Annual Median Salary: $53,130

Projected Growth Rate: -1%

These professionals make determinations on taxes owed for business and individual entities. Their duties include ensuring proper compliance, collecting overdue taxes, and conducting field audits. They typically work for government entities at federal, state, and local levels. Tax accountants with master's degrees often advance into supervisory roles.

Cost Estimators

Annual Median Salary: $63,110

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Cost estimators record, calculate, and analyze cost information. They provide accurate estimates to management regarding companies' services, products, and construction costs. In addition, they estimate manufacturing and construction costs for capital improvements, prepare bids, and recommend cost reduction strategies. A master's degree typically provides a competitive advantage in hiring.

Personal Financial Advisers

Annual Median Salary: $90,640

Projected Growth Rate: 15%

Personal financial advisers help individual clients with investment strategies and financial goal-setting. With a master's in taxation, these professionals may specialize in tax planning for an international or high net worth clientele. They offer advice and recommendations focused on the tax consequences of estate and trust planning, retirement, and insurance.

Financial Managers

Annual Median Salary: $125,080

Projected Growth Rate: 19%

Financial managers handle planning, implementation, and general oversight of financial reporting and long-term goals for businesses. Job duties for these professionals include corporate treasury management, cash flow and risk management, and the coordination of multiple objectives for strategic planning. A master's degree helps graduates advance into mid-level or senior management roles.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statstics

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Taxation Program?

Each school's requirements, areas of emphasis, and course titles may differ, and many programs offer a broad choice of elective courses. However, most online master's in taxation programs cover similar overall subject matter. The descriptions below provide insight on advanced courses typically found in master's in taxation programs.

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Taxation

Corporate Taxation

This advanced course examines federal income taxation of corporations and shareholders, including dividends, liquidations, and distributions. Using case studies, students consider fundamental tax problems and consequences of corporate asset acquisitions, sub-S corporations, reorganizations, carryovers, and accumulated earnings tax. The course also covers history, policy, and law related to corporate taxation.

Estate and Trust Planning

This course analyzes federal taxation of trusts and estates. Students prepare for estate planning careers by applying relevant case law, regulations, and statutes to develop applicable strategies for individuals and businesses. Topics covered include valuation issues, life insurance, lifetime gifts, selection of trustees, deferred compensation plans, and the marital deduction.

International Taxation

This course surveys the complexities involved in foreign taxation for U.S. entities. Beginning with a comprehensive tax system overview of key countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, students prepare for employment in international taxation fields. Students explore topics like the foreign tax credit and filing consolidated returns in the U.S.

State and Local Taxation

This course surveys state and local taxation, with emphasis on the region in which the school operates. Students examine trends in tax policy and legislative developments. Coursework also delves into individual income tax, business franchise tax, tax planning cases involving multiple states, and tax problems of corporate mergers and online commerce.

Current Issues in Taxation

This advanced course provides a detailed examination of current developments in income taxation with emphasis on regulations, court decisions, and legislation. Students prepare for careers in tax advisory roles through analysis of complex tax structures. The course also examines applications of tax law and theory to current issues using advanced tax research methods.

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Taxation Prepares For

  • NBA Tax Certification Exam The National Bookkeeper Association offers a credential that certifies recipients in bookkeeping and tax preparation. As a prerequisite, candidates must complete a self-study or approved tax fundamentals course; bachelor's programs in accounting also offer a similar course. The credential meets continuing education requirements for tax preparers in many states.
  • Accredited Tax Preparer Credential: The Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation offers a nationally recognized credential demonstrating extensive knowledge of the tax code. The ATP qualifies the candidate for preparation of tax returns, reduced continuing education requirements, and inclusion in the IRS public database of tax preparers. Candidates must pass the ATP exam.
  • Taxation Certificate: The University of Minnesota offers a 15-credit undergraduate certificate program entirely online. The taxation certificate qualifies students for tax preparation careers handling individual, business, farm, payroll, and estate taxes. Coursework for the certificate covers tax preparation, estate planning, insurance, and risk management. This certificate also allows students to sit for the registered tax return preparer exam.
  • H&R Block Tax Preparation Certification: The H&R Block credential qualifies candidates to work as tax preparers. Students must complete an approved 60-hour course and pass an exam. Candidates who obtain a passing score on the exam also receive a certificate of completion applicable to continuing education credits.