Tax inspectors are responsible for the calculation of taxation and the ensurance of its timely payment by individuals and organisations. They provide information and guidance concerning taxation legislation and examine financial documents and accounts to ensure compliance with legislation. They also examine records to investigate fraud.
Tax inspectors typically do the following:
- examine business accounts
- visit businesses to interview board directors, lawyers and accountants
- investigate suspected fraud
- offer specialist advice about tax
- negotiate settlements
- represent the tax administration at appeals tribunals
- consider and apply tax law to cases
- lead a team of caseworkers and administrative staff
- manage relationships between the tax administration and customers
The following job titles also refer to tax inspector:
public funds inspector
government tax inspector
inspector of taxes
A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field is generally preferred to become a tax inspector. Otherwise, an equivalent award like a professional accountancy qualification is also acceptable.
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 inspector is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Tax inspector career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to tax inspector.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of tax inspector. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of tax inspector with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of tax inspector.
- Bookkeeping regulations: The methods and regulations involved in the process of accurate bookkeeping.
- Public finance: The economic influence of the government, and the workings of government revenue and expenditures.
- Fraud detection: The techniques used to identify fraudulous activities.
- 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.
- Public law: The part of law which governs relationships between individuals and the government, and the relationships between individuals which concern society directly.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of tax inspector.
- 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.
- Monitor financial accounts: Handle financial administration of your department, keep the costs down to only necessary expenses and maximise the revenues of your organisation.
- 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.
- Collect tax: Collect the amounts due to be paid to the government by organisations and individuals, following the regulations and correct calculation, ensuring no one pays more or less than they are obligated to.
- 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.
- 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.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of tax inspector. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Audit techniques: The techniques and methods that support a systematic and independent examination of data, policies, operations and performances using computer-assisted audit tools and techniques (CAATs) such as spreadsheets, databases, statistical analysis and business intelligence software.
- Cadastral taxation: The taxation legislation concerning real estate and real property’s metes-and-bounds of a community.
- Office software: The characteristics and functioning of software programs for office tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, email and database.
- Corporate law: The legal rules that govern how corporate stakeholders (such as shareholders, employees, directors, consumers, etc) interact with one another, and the responsibilities corporations have to their stakeholders.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of tax inspector. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- 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.
- Manage cadastre: Manage the register of the real estate and real property’s metes-and-bounts of a community using cadastral surveys or cadastral maps.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prepare financial auditing reports: Compile information on audit findings of financial statements and financial management in order to prepare reports, point out improvement possibilities, and confirm governability.
- Keep task records: Organise and classify records of prepared reports and correspondence related to the performed work and progress records of tasks.
- Conduct financial audits: Evaluate and monitor the financial health, the operations and financial movements expressed in the financial statements of the company. Revise the financial records to ensure stewardship and governability.
- Check official documents: Check an individuals’ official documentation, such as driver’s licenses and identification, to ensure compliance with legal regulations, and to identify and assess individuals.
- Develop account strategy: Create the strategic goals and actions for future interaction with an account for the organisation.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use Microsoft Office: Possess the ability to work with the standard programs contained in Microsoft Office at a capable level. Create a document and do basic formatting, insert page breaks, create headers or footers, and insert graphics, create automatically generated tables of contents and merge form letters from a database of addresses (usually in Excel). Create auto-calculating spreadsheets, create images, and sort and filter data tables.
- Handle financial disputes: Handle disputes between individuals or organisations, either public or corporate, which deal with financial matters, accounts, and taxation.
ISCO group and title
3352 – Government tax and excise officials
- Tax inspector – ESCO
- Tax inspector | Explore careers – National Careers Service
- Featured image: Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash