Tax clerk

A tax clerk


Tax clerks collect financial information in order to prepare accounting and tax documents. They also perform clerical duties.

The duties of a tax clerk include, but are not limited to:

  • Calculating payroll withholdings and filing quarterly forms with the state and federal governments for each employee
  • Preparing tax returns for individuals or businesses by researching information provided by the taxpayer, including financial documents such as bank statements or records of sales made by a business, and gathering any additional information needed to complete the return
  • Preparing tax returns for individuals or businesses by researching information provided by the taxpayer, including financial documents such as bank statements or records of sales made by a business, and gathering any additional information needed to complete the return
  • Calculating taxes owed based on federal and state tax laws, filing tax returns with government agencies and collecting unpaid taxes from taxpayers who do not pay on their own
  • Answering questions about tax laws and regulations to help customers understand their tax obligations
  • Recommending changes to tax withholdings to ensure that employees have enough money throughout the year to cover their expenses without having to make additional payments during the year
  • Processing payroll deductions such as federal and state taxes, social security, or insurance premiums from paychecks, including processing any necessary paperwork or contacting employers directly to request changes to employee’s deductions

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to tax clerk:

tax collection clerk
tax revenue officer
tax compliance officer
tax collection assistant
tax collection officer
fiscal clerk

Working conditions

Tax clerks work in a variety of settings, including government offices, accounting firms, and banks. They typically work a regular 40-hour week, although they may have to work overtime during tax season.

Tax clerks typically work in well-lit and ventilated offices. They may sit for long periods of time, but they can take breaks when needed and usually have flexible work schedules.

Minimum qualifications

Tax clerks need at least a high school diploma. Many employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or business. These degrees provide tax clerks with a strong foundation in business and finance principles.

Tax clerks typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced employees. This training may include how to use the company’s computer systems, how to file paperwork and how to perform other daily tasks.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Tax clerk is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Tax clerk career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to tax clerk.

sales support assistant
auditing clerk
billing clerk
insurance clerk

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of tax clerk. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of tax clerk with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

tax compliance officer
tax inspector
accounting assistant
real estate surveyor

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of tax clerk.

  • Bookkeeping regulations: The methods and regulations involved in the process of accurate bookkeeping.
  • Fraud detection: The techniques used to identify fraudulous activities.
  • Debt classification: The different classifications of debt such as public and publicly guaranteed debt, private non-guaranteed credits, central bank deposits, etc.
  • Accounting techniques: The techniques of recording and summarising business and financial transactions and analysing, verifying, and reporting the results.
  • Tax legislation: Tax legislation applicable to a specific area of specialisation, such as import tax, government tax, etc.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of tax clerk.

  • Inform on fiscal duties: Inform organisations and individuals on their specific fiscal duties and the legislation and regulations involving fiscal processes, such as tax duties.
  • Prepare tax returns forms: Totalise all the deductible tax collected during the quarter or fiscal year in order to fill tax return forms and claim it back to the governmental authorities for declaring taxation liability. Keep the documents and records supporting the transaction.
  • Calculate tax: Calculate the taxes which have to be paid by an individual or organisation, or paid back by a governmental institution, compliant with specific legislation.
  • Interpret financial statements: Read, understand, and interpret the key lines and indicators in financial statements. Extract the most important information from financial statements depending on the needs and integrate this information in the development of the department’s plans.
  • Calculate debt costs: Calculate the amount of money owed and apply basic numeracy principles to do so.
  • Perform clerical duties: Perform administrative tasks such as filing, typing up reports and maintaining mail correspondence.
  • Inspect taxation documents: Inspect files and documentation dealing with taxation cases to ensure no faulty or fraudulous activity is present, and to ensure the procedure is compliant with legislation.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of tax clerk. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Accounting department processes: The different processes, duties, jargon, role in an organisation, and other specificities of the accounting department within an organisation such as bookkeeping, invoices, recording, and taxing.
  • Cadastral taxation: The taxation legislation concerning real estate and real property’s metes-and-bounds of a community.
  • Insolvency law: The legal rules regulating the incapacity to pay debts when they fall due.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of tax clerk. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Advise on tax planning: Advise on appropriate strategies to include taxes in the overall financial plan in order to reduce the tax load. Advise on questions related to tax legislation and provide advise on the possible implications that decisions in financial matters can cause in a tax declaration.. Advise on questions concerning things such as the creation of a company, investments, recruitments, or company successions.
  • Inspect tax returns: Inspect the documents which declare liability for taxation which is not automatically withheld from wages and salaries to ensure correct taxes are being paid by the liable individuals and organisations.
  • Research taxation procedures: Research the procedures which regulate taxation activities such as the procedures involved in the calculation of tax for organisations or individuals, the taxation handling and inspection process, and tax returns processes.
  • Check accounting records: Revise the accounting records of the quarter and year and ensure that the accounting information reflects with accuracy the financial transactions of the company.
  • Observe confidentiality: Observe the set of rules establishing the nondisclosure of information except to another authorised person.
  • Use accounting systems: Employ accounting systems for recording and managing the accounts, obligations, and rights that the company possesses. Utilise these systems for accounting operations, financial analysis, and preparation of financial statements.
  • Advise on tax policy: Advise government officials on changes in tax policies and procedures, and the implementation of new policies on a national and local level.
  • Disseminate information on tax legislation: Provide advise on the possible implications for companies or individuals on decisions regarding tax declaration based on tax legislation. Advise on the favourable tax strategies that could be followed depending on the needs of the client.
  • Assess seizable goods: Assess the nature, quality and value of assets that can be taken by force, in possession or custody, by lawful authority.
  • Manage accounts: Manage the accounts and financial activities of an organisation, supervising that all the documents are correctly maintained, that all the information and calculations are correct, and that proper decisions are being made.
  • Handle financial disputes: Handle disputes between individuals or organisations, either public or corporate, which deal with financial matters, accounts, and taxation.
  • Handle financial transactions: Administer currencies, financial exchange activities, deposits as well as company and voucher payments. Prepare and manage guest accounts and take payments by cash, credit card and debit card.

ISCO group and title

4312 – Statistical, finance and insurance clerks

  1. Tax clerk – ESCO
  2. Tax Clerk Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  3. Featured image: Photo by Mikhail Nilov
Last updated on December 12, 2022

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