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Top 11 Tax Examiner Certifications

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 19 min read

Certifications are important for a tax examiner in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge that employers look for when hiring. Certifications can also give an applicant a competitive edge over other candidates who do not have certifications. They demonstrate to potential employers that a tax examiner is knowledgeable in the area of taxation, has met certain standards, and is committed to staying up-to-date on changes in the field. Having certifications also shows potential employers that the applicant is serious about their profession and willing to invest time and money in learning more about it.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Tax Examiners and explains how they can contribute to a Tax Examiner's career success.

What are Tax Examiner Certifications?

Tax Examiner Certification is a professional certification program designed to provide tax professionals with the credentials and knowledge needed to accurately and efficiently process tax returns. The program consists of two components: the Tax Examiner Exam, which tests the candidate's knowledge of federal tax law, and the Tax Examiner Certification Course, which covers topics such as filing procedures, record-keeping requirements, audit techniques, and other related topics. Passing the exam and successfully completing the course are required for certification.

The benefit of obtaining Tax Examiner Certification is that it provides an assurance of proficiency in tax preparation for potential employers. It also allows a professional to demonstrate his or her commitment to staying up-to-date on all relevant federal tax laws and regulations. In addition, having this certification can give individuals an advantage in job interviews or when seeking promotions within their current organization. Finally, having this credential may help open doors to new career opportunities in consulting or accounting firms.

Pro Tip: Make sure you thoroughly research the requirements for tax examiner certification in your state or jurisdiction. Many states have specific training and education requirements that must be met before taking the certification exam. Additionally, it is important to stay up to date on relevant laws and regulations as they can change quickly.

Related: What does a Tax Examiner do?

Top 11 Tax Examiner Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Tax Examiners today.

1. Certified Tax Examiner (CTE)

A Certified Tax Examiner (CTE) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the field of taxation. The CTE designation is awarded by the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in tax preparation and education.

To become a CTE, individuals must meet certain requirements, including having at least two years of experience in preparing taxes or providing tax-related services. They must also pass an exam administered by the NATP. The exam covers topics such as federal income tax law, individual and business taxation, estate planning, and other related areas.

The exam typically takes about four hours to complete and costs $150 for NATP members and $200 for non-members. After passing the exam, individuals must pay an annual fee of $50 to maintain their CTE status.

In addition to passing the exam, individuals must also complete continuing education credits each year to stay up-to-date on changes in tax laws and regulations. The NATP offers a variety of courses that can help CTEs meet these requirements.

2. Certified Tax Professional (CTP)

A Certified Tax Professional (CTP) is a designation awarded by the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP). It is a professional certification that demonstrates expertise and proficiency in tax preparation. To be eligible for the CTP designation, an individual must have at least two years of experience in tax preparation and pass a comprehensive exam administered by the NATP. The exam covers topics such as income taxation, estate planning, payroll taxes, and ethics.

It typically takes six to nine months to complete the CTP program. This includes completing coursework, studying for the exam, and taking the exam itself. The cost of the program varies depending on factors such as whether you are a member of NATP or if you are taking additional courses. Generally speaking, it can range from $500 to $1,000 or more.

To get certified as a CTP, individuals must first become members of NATP and then register for the CTP program. Once registered, applicants will receive access to online courses that cover all aspects of tax preparation and related topics. After completing these courses and passing an exam with a score of 70% or higher, applicants will receive their certification from NATP.

3. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a professional designation that certifies an individual's competence in accounting, auditing, taxation, financial reporting, and other related areas. CPAs are licensed by state boards of accountancy and must meet the educational, examination, experience and ethical requirements set by each state board.

It typically takes 4-5 years to become a CPA. This includes obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field from an accredited college or university; passing the Uniform CPA Exam; and completing one to two years of work experience in public accounting as required by most states.

To get your CPA license you must first meet the educational requirements for your state board of accountancy. You will then need to pass the Uniform CPA Exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). After passing the exam you will need to complete any additional requirements such as work experience or ethics courses as required by your state board of accountancy. Once all requirements are met you can apply for your CPA license with your state board of accountancy.

The cost of becoming a CPA varies depending on where you live and what type of program you choose. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$3,000 for tuition and fees associated with taking the Uniform CPA Exam. Additionally, there may be costs associated with studying materials such as textbooks or online courses.

4. Enrolled Agent (EA)

Enrolled Agent (EA) is a designation given by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to tax professionals who have demonstrated expertise in tax laws and regulations. It is the highest credential awarded by the IRS, and it allows an EA to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the IRS.

To become an Enrolled Agent, individuals must pass a three-part exam administered by the IRS, or demonstrate equivalent experience as a former IRS employee. The exam covers individual and business taxes, representation, ethics, and other topics related to federal taxation. The exam takes approximately two days to complete and requires extensive knowledge of tax law and regulations.

In order to take the exam, applicants must submit an application with a fee of $67 through the Prometric website. After passing all three parts of the exam, applicants must then submit fingerprints for a background check and pay an additional fee of $30. Upon successful completion of these requirements, applicants will be issued their Enrolled Agent credential from the IRS.

The cost of becoming an Enrolled Agent includes fees for taking the exam ($67), fingerprinting ($30), and any preparation materials needed such as books or courses ($100-$500). Additionally, some states may require additional licensing fees or continuing education credits in order to practice as an EA in that state.

5. Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA)

Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) is a professional designation offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in tax preparation and planning.

The ATA designation requires that an individual pass the AICPA’s Accredited Tax Advisor Exam. The exam consists of five sections covering topics such as taxation, accounting, and financial planning. To qualify for the exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience in tax preparation and planning.

The exam typically takes about four hours to complete and is administered twice a year. The cost of taking the exam is $375 for AICPA members and $475 for non-members. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your ATA designation from the AICPA.

In addition to passing the exam, you must also meet certain continuing education requirements each year in order to maintain your ATA designation. This includes completing at least 18 hours of CPE credits annually related to taxation or financial planning topics.

Overall, obtaining an ATA designation can take several months depending on when you are able to take the exam and how long it takes you to study for it. It is important to note that becoming an ATA does not guarantee employment or success in any particular area; however, it can be beneficial in demonstrating your knowledge and commitment to tax preparation and planning services.

6. Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP)

Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) is a professional designation for tax preparers who have met the educational and experience requirements of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The ATP designation is granted by the IRS to individuals who demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of taxation and an ability to accurately prepare tax returns. To obtain the ATP designation, applicants must pass an examination administered by the IRS which covers topics such as federal income tax laws, filing requirements, and ethical standards.

The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. Applicants must also meet certain educational requirements, such as having completed at least 15 hours of continuing education in tax preparation or related topics within the past three years. Additionally, applicants must have at least two years' experience in preparing individual income tax returns or one year's experience in preparing business returns.

To apply for the ATP designation, applicants must submit an application form along with proof of their educational qualifications and work experience. The application fee is $50 USD. Once approved, applicants will receive their ATP certificate from the IRS.

7. Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA)

Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) is a professional designation awarded by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT). It is one of the most highly respected qualifications in the field of taxation and provides holders with a comprehensive understanding of tax law, compliance, and planning.

It takes an average of three to four years to become a CTA. To qualify, applicants must have at least two years' relevant work experience and pass a series of examinations set by the CIOT. The exams cover topics such as taxation principles, UK tax legislation, international tax law, corporate taxes and trusts. Once qualified, CTAs can offer advice on all aspects of taxation including personal and business taxes.

To become a CTA you must first complete an application form with your CV and provide evidence of your relevant work experience. You will then need to register for the CIOT's examinations which are held twice a year in March and September. The cost for sitting each exam is £120 per paper plus registration fees. Once you have passed all the exams you will be eligible to apply for CTA status from the CIOT. This involves submitting an application form along with any supporting documents such as references or evidence of continuing professional development activities.

The total cost for becoming a CTA varies depending on how quickly you complete the process but typically ranges between £2,000 – £3,000 including exam fees and registration costs.

8. Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)

Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) is a professional designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). The CFP® certification is the highest standard of professional competence in the field of personal financial planning and is recognized worldwide.

To become a CFP®, individuals must meet certain educational, experience and ethical requirements set by the CFP Board. To be eligible to sit for the CFP® exam, an individual must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, complete at least 6 hours of coursework in financial planning topics, and have 3 years of full-time work experience related to providing financial advice or services.

The CFP® exam consists of two parts: a three-hour multiple choice section and a two-hour case study section. It covers topics such as investments, taxes, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance and risk management. The exam is offered several times each year at testing centers throughout the United States.

The cost to take the CFP® exam varies depending on when it is taken but generally ranges from $695 to $795 for both parts of the exam. Once an individual passes both parts of the exam, they will need to pay an additional fee for their initial certification which includes background check fees and other administrative costs. This fee typically ranges from $300-$400.

Once certified as a CFP®, individuals must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years in order to maintain their designation.

9. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA®)

Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA®) is a professional designation for management accountants, awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of technical proficiency in management accounting and finance.

It typically takes three to five years to obtain the CGMA designation. To get it, you must pass an exam administered by the AICPA, which covers topics such as financial reporting, budgeting, planning and forecasting, performance measurement, decision analysis, strategic cost management and risk management. You must also demonstrate your professional experience in management accounting or finance through either a minimum of two years’ relevant work experience or completion of an approved course.

The cost of obtaining the CGMA designation varies depending on where you take the exam and whether or not you are already a member of AICPA or CIMA. In general, it costs around $1,000 for non-members and $500 for members. This fee includes registration for both exams and access to study materials.

10. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA®)

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA®) is a professional certification offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). It is the most recognized qualification for internal auditors and demonstrates competency in the practice of internal auditing. The CIA designation is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the field of internal auditing.

The CIA certification program consists of three parts: an educational component, an experience component, and an examination component. To become certified as a CIA, candidates must complete all three components within five years.

The educational component requires candidates to complete a minimum of 120 hours of approved education from IIA-recognized universities or colleges. Candidates can also earn credits through online courses or self-study programs.

The experience component requires candidates to have at least two years of full-time professional internal audit experience, or equivalent part-time experience. This experience must be verified by a supervisor or other qualified individual who can attest to the candidate’s knowledge and skills in performing internal audit activities.

The examination component requires candidates to pass four exams that cover topics such as risk assessment, control systems, governance principles, and fraud detection. Each exam has 150 multiple choice questions with a passing score of 70%. The exams are administered by Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide.

The cost for the CIA certification program varies depending on the number of exams taken and the type of education chosen (online vs classroom). Generally speaking, it will cost between $1,500 - $2,500 USD for all four exams plus any associated study materials and fees.

11. Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA Canada/CPA Australia/CPA UK/etc.)

Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) is an internationally recognized professional designation in the field of accounting. The CPA designation is awarded by various countries, including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It is a mark of excellence that demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of professional competence and ethical conduct.

In order to become a Chartered Professional Accountant, individuals must complete a rigorous educational program and pass an examination. Depending on the country in which you are seeking your CPA designation, this process can take anywhere from two to four years.

In order to obtain the CPA designation in Canada, for example, individuals must first complete their undergraduate degree in accounting or business administration with a concentration in accounting. After completing their degree, they must then register with one of the provincial bodies across Canada that oversee the CPA program. Once registered, they must then complete their coursework and examinations as part of the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP). This includes completing three core modules covering financial reporting, assurance services, and strategic management accounting; as well as two elective modules chosen from topics such as taxation or performance management. Upon completion of all five modules and passing all required examinations, applicants will be eligible for their CPA designation.

The cost for obtaining a CPA designation varies depending on which province you are located in and how many courses you need to take. Generally speaking though, it can range anywhere from $2,000-$6,000 CAD plus additional fees associated with registration and examinations.

Do You Really Need a Tax Examiner Certificate?

The short answer is no, you do not need a tax examiner certificate to be able to file taxes. However, if you are an accountant or other tax professional, obtaining a tax examiner certificate can help you demonstrate your expertise in the field and give you an edge when competing for jobs.

A tax examiner certification can be obtained from the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Office (NTAO). This certification shows that you have met the NTAO’s rigorous standards in terms of knowledge and experience with taxation law and practice. The certification also demonstrates that you have taken continuing education courses and maintained professional ethics. By having this certification, it will show potential employers that you are well-versed in taxation matters and capable of handling complex tax scenarios.

Having a tax examiner certificate may also help when filing taxes for clients or yourself. A certified tax examiner will be able to better understand the laws surrounding taxation and provide more accurate advice on filing taxes. This can save time and money by helping to avoid costly mistakes or errors on returns. It can also provide peace of mind knowing that your taxes are being handled by someone who is knowledgeable in the field.

Overall, obtaining a tax examiner certificate is not necessary for everyone but it can certainly be beneficial for those interested in pursuing a career as a professional accountant or working as a consultant for taxation issues. The certification will show potential employers that you have the knowledge and experience required to handle complex situations involving taxation law, making it easier to find job opportunities in the field.

Related: Tax Examiner Resume Examples

FAQs About Tax Examiner Certifications

1. What is a Tax Examiner Certification?

Answer: A Tax Examiner Certification is a professional accreditation that recognizes the knowledge and skills of individuals who specialize in tax law, taxation procedures and financial analysis. It is issued by the National Association of Tax Examiners (NATE) and provides recognition of an individual’s expertise in the field.

2. How do I become certified as a Tax Examiner?

Answer: To become certified as a Tax Examiner, you must meet certain educational requirements and pass an exam administered by NATE. This exam covers topics such as taxation laws, policies and procedures, auditing and compliance issues, principles of taxation, financial statement analysis, and more.

3. What are the benefits of becoming a certified Tax Examiner?

Answer: Becoming a certified tax examiner can open up career opportunities in numerous fields including accounting, finance, law, consulting or even government work. It also shows employers that you have taken the initiative to gain specialized knowledge in the field which can increase your earning potential over time. Additionally, it can provide you with additional credibility when working on complex tax cases or advising clients on their tax matters.

4. How long does it take to complete the certification process?

Answer: The certification process typically takes around 3-6 months to complete depending on how quickly you are able to study for and pass the NATE exam. It is important to note that completing additional courses or obtaining experience in the field may help reduce this timeline significantly.

5. Is there any continuing education required after becoming certified?

Answer: Yes, continuing education is required for those who wish to maintain their certification status with NATE. This includes attending seminars or taking classes related to taxation laws and practices every two years in order to stay up-to-date on changes in the field.