Masters in Tax – is it worth it?

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  • #3090495
    Number_cruncher32
    Participant

    I started out in tax when I first started in public accounting. Then I worked in audit at national CPA firm for a number of years and moved up to manager, but over time I have decided that I liked tax more than audit. I am currently working at a small CPA firm in which the audit department also does some tax work so I have both prepared and reviewed tax returns at my current firm. I really want to do primarily tax (although I like compilations and reviews,too;just not audit). I also like helping clients with their bookkeeping/accounting questions. Although I have tax experience, I have more audit experience so at this point I don't think my tax experience is at the same level as my audit experience. So my question is, do you think it would be worth it to get a Masters in Taxation at this point (part-time while still working full time)? I have a masters (just not specifically in tax) and I have my CPA license. I would like to eventually either be a partner in a small CPA firm or start my own firm.

    #3090522
    monikerncmonikernc
    Participant

    I don’t think paying what it costs to get a masters is worth it for you if you are already licensed. I had an MBA and went back for undergrad accounting classes to get licensed and feel I only missed the business tax classes. You can take a biz tax class but learning from experienced preparers in the environment you are in is the best way to learn. I also participate in a tax workgroup with other sole practitioners through my state’s CPA society where we discuss issues and questions that we have and I find that so helpful. I also really like the CPE courses offered by the Pacific Northwest Tax School. The instructor is very thorough. Even her inexpensive non-CPE credit offerings are really good. Her documentation is good. You can find her pre-2017 videos for free on YouTube to see if you like it. She is a seasoned EA and quite knowledgeable.

    AUD - 93
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    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
    #3094202
    JFKGY
    Participant

    My answer would be NO – unless you are thinking landing on a tax job via the school's connection.

    The truth is – I think you can pick up any knowledge on tax if you read enough law book & the IRS instructions (and you got the software). I don't see how getting a master will get you anywhere.

    What you need is an opportunity to PROOF that you know tax and can land a tax job. Find what you are interested in tax, and take some classes to sharpen your specialty in that topic, good enough.

    NY - Passed CPA. In searching for the experience.
    #3100397
    MikeyMikey
    Participant

    You could pick up your EA. It's cheap, but in my opinion is a good addition to the “arsenal.”

    AUD - 77
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    REG - 82
    Michael J. Conard Jr. CPA, EA

    Millhouse Accounting

    #3102671

    It's pointless to get the EA if you already have a CPA license.

    AUD - 75
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    FAR - 77
    REG - 76
    Licensed in VA
    #3103220
    monikerncmonikernc
    Participant

    I think the value of acquiring the EA is the cheap training/study materials for the knowledge acquired. I think it covers a lot of areas, and in more depth than the CPA REG exam does. I have a friend who did it after his CPA and he was surprised at how much more he learned about tax filing and IRS practices.

    AUD - 93
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 76
    REG - 88
    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
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