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Show Them The Money: Tax Manager Salaries

Updated on July 19, 2012

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

Tax managers handle increasingly complex tax accounting for organizations. Their tasks can range from daily sales tax calculations to final yearly payments for federal income tax returns. They may work in-house, handling revenue matters for their hiring companies, or as consultants to companies that have no tax specialists on their staff.

Senior Management Salaries

Tax managers in senior management earned average salaries of $100,250 to $142,500 per year in 2012 according to the Salary Guide created by Robert Half International. This was for large companies showing at least $250 million dollars in annual company sales. For midsize organizations with $50 to 250 million dollars in sales, averages ran $79,500 to $110,750 per year. These financial managers prepared and reviewed federal and state income taxes, hired and promoted tax specialists, and recommended changes to operations to minimize tax liability. The position typically requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, a certification for Certified Public Accountant, and several years of management with increasing responsibilities.

Line Management Salaries

In 2011, tax managers in line management averaged $83,250 to $114,750 annually in large companies, and $71,750 to $96,750 per year for midsize organizations. Aside from their tax reporting responsibilities, these accounting supervisors coordinated the activities of subordinate tax specialists. Managers assigned tasks and schedules; recruited, trained and fired employees; and monitored employee performance to ensure accounting goals were met. They also met with upper management about tax issues. A bachelor’s degree in accounting is the minimum entry requirement, though if they file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they also need a CPA certification


Tax managers start their careers as accountants who specialize in tax matters.

  • In 2011, they started with yearly averages of $42,750 to $53,500 in large companies and $41,500 to $51,000 in midsize companies.
  • After three years of experience, they can handle accounting tasks with no supervision to earn a mean $50,000 to $67,250 per year in large companies and $47,500 to $61,750 per year in midsize companies.
  • They could then become senior tax accountants who could head up projects and train new employees. Annual compensation at this level was $67,250 to $86,000 for large companies and $56,750 to $76,750 for midsize organizations.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for all financial managers, including those who are tax managers, will increase by 9 percent from 2010 to 2020. This is slightly more than the 7 percent growth seen for all management occupations, and slightly less than the 14 percent growth forecast for all jobs in all industries. ONET OnLine shows growth for supervisors, including line managers in tax accounting, at 10 to 19 percent. In both cases a growing economy caused by a growing population will fuel the demand. As with most management positions, competition will be strong because the number of qualified candidates will be less than the number of available positions. Those who understand international finance and its affect on U.S. taxes should have the best opportunities.


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    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      I think the best kind of jobs are in sales. If we're not good at it, well... there's always audit. :) Voted up.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I can see why tax managers earn a decent salary. They deserve it. I spoke with a CPA who said that every year there are over 2000 changes to the tax laws. I can't imagine how they keep up with all the changes. Really great hub. I enjoyed reading it.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Accouting is a rewarding career in terms of money. Salaries are good to start with too with the basic qualification just being a graduation.

      Voted up & interesting.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      This is not an easy job, as the rules are always changing and the calculations often not simple. Hence, I think they work hard for this money. A nice wage nonetheless!

      Shared, tweeted, up and useful

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Great salary, but one would expect that with the amount of schooling needed for this job. I think tax season would be really challenging. I would do business taxes and break up the monotony. Great hub.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      It's great to learn that there's one business sector other than healthcare that's being given a positive outlook! Cheers :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I need to show this to my husband. He has some interest in that field. They do very well don't they? I don't think it would be a match for me as I need to be up and around instead of looking for numbers. Great hub post. Thanks for the information.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Once again, thanks for reminding me I am in the wrong field Alocsin! LOL I figured they would have a healthy salary when I saw the title. I would think it would be some hard work though. All those numbers, it would be stressful. I see all these papers for my taxes and I could only imagine the papers for a multi-million dollar business. Great article Alocsin!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Numbers and I do not get along well. More power to the tax people...they earn those salaries!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      This sort of job would be well above my head as I am useless at math, and I believe its well worth the wages. My aunt used to be a book keeper and deal with tax as well, and sometimes I would go into work and see her at the computer doing all the stuff that was far beyond me, so anybody who can do this I believe deserves the high wage, fascinating as always, and voted up, and shared, nell

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      Wow! These guys SHOULD earn lots - they're dealing with a lot of numbers and livelihoods. What a great source of information for prospective tax managers and accountants. :)

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      great information, alocsin.

      with tax season coming up next year...people who are interested have enough time to learn the art of accounting and take up this job :)

      voted up as useful and sharing it across

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I had an uncle, now deceased, who was the CFO for a major company and he and his family always seemed to live the good life. He got to travel quite a bit representing that company. I would say that looking at even the beginning average salaries posted in your hub, this is a good place to focus for a job if one is at all talented in the study of math and finances. Up, useful and interesting votes.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Another great hub Aurelio! I would say I'm jealous of the salaries but I can't imagine living my life with that job! Way too boring for me!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Another interesting and informational hub! While Math is a strong point with me....just the thoughts of numbers and more numbers all day, every day, hurts my head and makes my eyes cross. They'd HAVE to pay the big bucks....when someone is lord over your most precious thing....MONEY!

      My checkbook is challenge enough for me! UP+++

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Anyone who excels in Math deserves good pay, I think! My granddaugher started out with a major in accounting, but changed her senior year because it just got too tough for her. Now she wishes she had got a tutor.

      Great Hub. I voted it UP, etc.etc.