Cleveland Overview of Online Masters in Taxation Programs
An online masters in taxation program provides a broad-based foundation for students aspiring to a career as a tax professional. Many business schools and universities have distance-learning formats that prepare students to develop and implement successful tax strategies, think critically, and exercise ethical responsibility.
Individuals, corporations, organizations use tax specialists and governments especially since within the world of business, tax regulations and laws usually require specialized knowledge and attention. Some of the major issues addressed in online masters in taxation, are determination of taxable income, structuring tax shelter, determining the applicable tax rate, capturing taxable transactions, recording appropriate deductions, and computing deferred tax credits and liabilities.
Is an Online Masters in Taxation Program Right For You?
Often online programs are perfect for a busy and currently working professional looking for a convenient way to earn their masters in taxation degree without giving up their job or other responsibilities. With advances in educational technology, web-based programs tend to have practical, interactive course work, and students gain the analytical and technical skills that they would in a campus program. If you learn well independently, and want to study at your own pace, then an online masters in taxation program is a great option.
Reviewing the choices on GradSchools.com is easy. Scroll through listings such as Executive Virtual Master of Taxation, MS in Accounting – Tax, and Master of Science in Taxation. Then request info from the schools to determine if their program aligns with your goals.
Potential Curriculum in an Online Masters in Taxation
Some online programs may be accelerated, offer an internship in taxation, or allow students the opportunity to specialize in areas such as:
- Financial planning
- Strategic tax planning
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Bankruptcy tax
It is always a good idea to verify curriculum with the school they are considering, as course titles and descriptions may vary. Some of the core coursework in an online MS Taxation program might include:
- Tax research
- Tax law
- Tax concepts and theory
- Federal and international taxation
- Corporate and partnership taxation
- Taxation of individuals
- Business expenses, deductions and credits
- State and local estate and gift taxation
Accreditation For Tax Accountants
Professional certification is recommended for masters in taxation graduates as a way to demonstrate proficiency and status in the field.
If you anticipate working in finance, some advanced positions may require a master’s degree in business administration or in finance. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the main licensing organization for the securities industry. It requires licenses for many financial analyst positions.[i]
If you aspire to work as a tax accountant, many employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting, and those have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.
To become a CPA, accountants must complete 150 credit hours of college-level education (about 5 years of undergraduate and graduate work), pass all four parts of the Uniform Certified Public Accountants Exam, and have around two years of accounting experience.
Other designations include the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation's Accredited Tax Advisor, Accredited Tax Preparer, Accredited Tax Advisor, and International Accredited Business Accountant designations (with the successful completion of the ACAT exam), and the Certified Member of the Institute (CMI) from the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT).[ii]
Job outlook for Accountants
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants and auditors continue to be in demand, and the profession is expected to see an 11% growth in employment between 2014 and 2024. This is due in part to:
- Economic growth
- Increasingly complex tax and regulatory environment
Ready to Pursue a Master of Science in Taxation Online?
A master's degree in taxation prepares students for a potentially wide range of senior or upper-management careers in accounting, taxation or financial consulting. Develop your expertise in the field; finding an online master’s in taxation degree is easy on GradSchools.com!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm | bls.gov/oes/current/oes132082.htm