Tax Accountant Salary in the US (Updated!)

tax accountant salary

Tax accountants, also known as certified public accountants or CPAs, are responsible for preparing and reviewing tax records for both individuals and businesses. They can also guide businesses about how such financial decisions impact taxes. Accountants are effective because they have a keen eye for detail and strong math skills. Tax accountant jobs are expected to rise 10% faster than average over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
So, let’s examine market trends and learn about staff tax accountants’ (CPA) salaries, from the basic level to the senior level with this guide.
Find out more about working as a tax accountant.

Average Tax Accountants Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants earn a median annual income of $70,500. So, if you’re wondering how much a tax accountant makes, keep in mind that a tax accountant’s salary is determined by a number of factors. Tax accountants, for example, are paid differently than management accountants. Pay is influenced by factors such as location, job experience, and educational level.


The compensation of a tax accountant is determined in part by how long they have served in the sector. Hence, accountants with more experience can handle more challenges, making their job skills more important. So, the analysis below depicts how the average salary of a tax accountant increases from entry-level to experienced positions.

  • Level of Entry (0-12 Months)
    • 51,000 dollars
  • Beginnings of a Career (1-4 Years)
    • $500,000
  • In the middle of one’s career (5-9 Years)
    • 63,300 dollars
  • Expertise (10-19 Years)
    • $64,000

Average Tax Accountant Salary Based on Degree

Tax accountants typically hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Thus, master’s degree holders, predictably, have a higher earning potential. Keep in mind, however, that degrees do not guarantee a specific salary, and not every accountant has an accounting degree.

  • Bachelor’s degree
    • Average Salary: $69,000
  • Master’s Degree
    • Average Salary: $91,000


Tax accountants have numerous opportunities for advancement, which typically take the form of promotions, increased responsibility, leadership positions, and higher pay. This graph depicts the most common promotions that tax accountants may receive, as well as the median salary for those positions.


Senior Tax Accountant Salary $71,477

Tax Manager $96,666

Accounting Manager $70,163

What Are the Highest Salary paying States for Tax Accountants?

Another important factor influencing accountant salaries is location. Metropolitan areas typically pay more than small towns because the cost of living is higher in large cities. Hence states with the highest annual mean wage remain in the country’s northeast.

What are the Highest Paying Industries for Tax Accountants?

Tax accountants prepare and submit tax documents for a wide range of businesses, and many profitable businesses pay well. Accountants are also paid well by the federal government.

Employee and School Bus Transportation $109,250.00
The Executive Branch of the Federal Government $90,080
Securities, commodity contracts, and other types of financial investments and activities $97,500
Other Investment Funds and Pools $96,770
Transportation via Other Pipelines $93,590

If you’re an accountant, you’ll find that a CPA salary is higher, and this designation will help you advance in your career. A CPA license opens doors to a variety of well-paying careers. Obtaining a CPA license (and thus a CPA salary) necessitates a significant investment of time and energy, not to mention a commitment to continuing education, so it’s critical to understand the potential pay-off before pursuing it.

CPAs work in a variety of fields, including forensic accounting, tax preparation, auditing, booking, and information technology, in both the private and public sectors, as well as for the federal government. Being a CPA can lead to a position as a chief financial officer or a highly paid tax accountant with the right amount of experience.

Although the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not separate CPA salaries from its reporting on accountants and auditors, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) reports that a CPA typically earns more. For comparison, the median tax accountant’s salary in May 2019, the most recent figures available as of January 2021, is $71,550.

CPA Entry-Level

According to Accounting Today magazine, a leading trade publication, entry-level CPAs earn between $40,000 and $60,000 per year, depending on the size of the firm.

CPA (Tax Accountant) Salary at the Senior Level

A CPA with more than five years of experience may earn $66,000 to $110,000 per year, depending on their experience.

Management CPA Tax Accountant Salary

According to Accounting Today, CPAs who advance to management or a director’s position typically earn between $66,000 and $150,000. So, other senior positions for experienced tax accountants (CPA) include roles in executive management, whose salary is six figures. As of May 2019, the median salary for chief executives was $184,460, according to the BLS.

What is the National Average CPA Tax Accountant Salary?

CPA tax accountant salary

CPAs’ salaries, like those of other professionals, may be influenced by where they work. Employment opportunities vary according to the type of accounting specialization.

According to the BLS, Texas, California, New York, Florida, and Illinois have the highest employment and pay rates for accountants in the United States. Keep in mind that these figures reflect accountant salaries, as the BLS does not differentiate between CPA and regular accountant jobs.

California ($83,910), Texas ($79,360), New York ($89,650), Florida ($72,630), and Illinois ($77,640) have the highest mean average wages.

How do Tax Accountants Salary differ from other Accounting Professions?

Tax accountants are frequently grouped with tax preparers or auditors by organizations or data sources. Some people believe that tax accountants do the same work as government accountants or management accountants. These positions have various job descriptions and functions. Auditors, for example, examine a company’s financial records to look for evidence of money mismanagement. Government accountants review incoming taxes and ensure that government organizations spend tax revenue lawfully, whereas tax accountants prepare and review tax documents for businesses or individual accountants.

Continue reading for a brief comparison of these similar occupations in terms of Average mid-career annual income based on PayScale data:

Tax preparer: $41,203

Auditor: $62,837.

Tax Accountant: $62,905

Management Accountant : $65,520

Staff Accountant Salary in the US.

Did you know that the average salary for a staff accountant is $51,483 per year? That’s worth $24.75 per hour! The range surrounding that average can range between $42,000 and $62,000, implying that staff accountants can earn more once they progress past entry-level positions. Most staff accountants work for professional and finance firms, while others work for finance, health care, and technology firms to supplement their income. These aren’t the only places where you can make more money. New York, Alaska, and New Jersey are the top three states in the United States for paying the highest salaries to staff accountants.

#1. Washington, DC

The average salary is $59,819 while the job openings for Staff Accountants are 22

#2. New York, NY

The average tax accountant salary in New York City is $59,139, while the open staff accountant Position is 63

#3. San Francisco, CA

The Average Salary in San Francisco is $58,976 while the tax accountant positions available is 28

#4. Arlington, Virginia

The average salary in Arlington, Virginia is $54,964 while the job openings for staff accountant is 5

#5. Baltimore, Maryland

The average salary for a tax accountant in Baltimore, Maryland is $52,974 and the available tax accountant positions are 18

#6. Boston, MA

The average salary for a tax accountant in Boston, MA is $51,854 while the available tax accountant Positions: 28

#7. Seattle, Washington

The average tax accountant salary in Seattle, Washington is $51,067 while the job openings for staff tax accountants is 22

#8. Austin, TX

Average Salary: $49,665

Accountant Positions: 18

#9. Philadelphia, PA

The average accountant salary in Philadelphia, PA is $49,329 and the job openings for staff accountants is 14

#10. Chicago, Illinois

The average salary of accountants in Chicago, Illinois is $47,897 while the job openings for accountant positions are 69.

#11. Phoenix, Arizona

The average salary in Phoenix, Arizona is $47,519 while the job openings for staff accountants are 25.

#12. Las Vegas, Nevada

The average salary in Las Vegas, Nevada is $47,499 while the job openings for accountant positions are 23.

#13. Portland, Oregon

The average accountant’s salary in Portland, Oregon is $46,941while the job openings for staff accountants are 12.

#14 Charlotte, North Carolina

The average staff accountant salary in North Carolina is $46,487 while the job openings for staff accountants are 12.

#15. Minneapolis, Minnesota

The average staff accountant salary in Minneapolis is $46,468 while the job openings for staff accountants are 22.

#16. Denver, CO

The average staff accountant salary in Denver is $45,931 while the available job openings for staff accountants are 35.

#17. Atlanta, Georgia

The average staff accountant salary in Atlanta Georgia is $45,451 while the available jo openings for staff accountants are 49.

#18. Salt Lake City, UT

The average staff accountant salary in Salt Lake City is $44,377 while the job openings for staff accountants are 13.

#19. Columbus, OH

The average staff accountant salary in Columbus Ohio is $43,931 while the job openings for staff accountants are 9.

#20. Indianapolis, IN

The average tax accountant salary in Indianapolis is $42,967 while the job openings for staff accountants is 6.

Can a tax accountant provide financial advice to clients or businesses?

Yes, a tax accountant can provide financial advice to clients or businesses as part of their role in tax planning and preparation. This may include offering advice on how to minimize tax liability, how to structure financial transactions in a tax-efficient manner, and how to plan for retirement and other long-term financial goals.

What is the role of a tax accountant in financial analysis and decision-making?

A tax accountant plays an important role in financial analysis and decision-making by providing insights and guidance on the tax implications of different financial decisions. This includes analyzing tax laws and regulations, evaluating the financial impact of different tax strategies, and recommending tax-efficient solutions to clients or businesses.

What is the role of a tax accountant in auditing and financial reporting?

A tax accountant is responsible for ensuring that financial statements and other financial reports comply with tax laws and regulations. This may include conducting audits to identify tax liability, preparing and filing tax returns, and providing guidance on tax-related financial reporting requirements.

How does a tax accountant stay up-to-date with changes in tax laws and regulations?

A tax accountant stays up-to-date with changes in tax laws and regulations through ongoing professional development, attending seminars and workshops, and participating in tax-related professional organizations. Staying up-to-date with tax law changes is essential for providing accurate and effective tax planning and preparation services to clients.

What is the role of a tax accountant in tax planning and preparation?

The role of a tax accountant in tax planning and preparation is to help clients or businesses minimize their tax liability and comply with tax laws and regulations. This includes preparing and filing tax returns, identifying tax-saving opportunities, and offering advice on tax-efficient financial planning strategies.

What skills are essential for a successful career as a tax accountant?

Essential skills for a successful career as a tax accountant include strong analytical and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and a strong understanding of tax laws and regulations. Tax accountants also need to be organized, efficient, and able to work under tight deadlines.


The salary of tax accountants differs from the other. The variation is also the result of several things. It could be degree certification, professional certification, years of experience as well as the environments. However, whatever be the cause of there variation in salary earned, getting further experience, changing of the environment as well as getting a new certification may increase your salary as a tax accountant

Tax Accountant Salary FAQs

Do tax accountants make good money?

In general, accountants make a median annual salary of $70,500, according to BLS. … For instance, tax accountants earn different pay than management accountants. Location, work experience, and education level also impact pay.

Is tax accounting hard?

Becoming a tax accountant requires hard work in school, but the skills you build can benefit you in numerous ways beyond the accounting field. In fact, most successful tax accountants improve their skills over time, meaning their learning doesn’t stop after graduating from an undergraduate program.

Is tax easier than audit?

While there is always someone available for questions if needed, if you prefer to work on projects on your own, then tax might be a better fit. Fast turn-around – while audits may drag out for weeks or months, tax returns are usually much smaller individual engagements which lead to a quicker turnaround.19 Jun 2019

Who earns more tax or audit?

“The average salary for tax accountants, based on a survey of 1,641 respondents, was $34,912 to $65,595. … The data indicates auditors may command more money initially, but the range for tax accountants is broader and higher at the upper end of the bell curve.”

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