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Career profile Tax Examiner

Also known as City Tax Auditor, Revenue Agent, Revenue Collector, Revenue Officer, Revenue Specialist, Tax Collector, Tax Compliance Officer, Tax Examiner

Tax Examiner

Also known as City Tax Auditor, Revenue Agent, Revenue Collector

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Social
Pay Range
$33,180 - $105,430 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Law and Government
Core tasks
  • Collect taxes from individuals or businesses according to prescribed laws and regulations.
  • Maintain knowledge of tax code changes, and of accounting procedures and theory to properly evaluate financial information.
  • Maintain records for each case, including contacts, telephone numbers, and actions taken.
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What does a Tax Examiner do?

Tax Examiners determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations.

What kind of tasks does a Tax Examiner perform regularly?

Tax Examiners are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Collect taxes from individuals or businesses according to prescribed laws and regulations.
  • Maintain knowledge of tax code changes, and of accounting procedures and theory to properly evaluate financial information.
  • Maintain records for each case, including contacts, telephone numbers, and actions taken.
  • Contact taxpayers by mail or telephone to address discrepancies and to request supporting documentation.
  • Send notices to taxpayers when accounts are delinquent.
  • Check tax forms to verify that names and taxpayer identification numbers are correct, that computations have been performed correctly, or that amounts match those on supporting documentation.
  • Answer questions from taxpayers and assist them in completing tax forms.
  • Impose payment deadlines on delinquent taxpayers and monitor payments to ensure that deadlines are met.
  • Notify taxpayers of any overpayment or underpayment, and either issue a refund or request further payment.

The above responsibilities are specific to Tax Examiners. More generally, Tax Examiners are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

What is a Tax Examiner salary?

The median salary for a Tax Examiner is $55,640, and the average salary is $62,040. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Tax Examiner salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Tax Examiners earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Tax Examiners earn less than $33,180 per year, 25% earn less than $42,040, 75% earn less than $77,540, and 90% earn less than $105,430.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Tax Examiners is expected to change by -3.7%, and there should be roughly 4,400 open positions for Tax Examiners every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$33,180 - $105,430
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Tax Examiners?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Tax Examiner are usually higher in their Conventional and Enterprising interests.

Tax Examiners typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Tax Examiners typically have strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Tax Examiner tend to value Achievement, Support, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Tax Examiners moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Tax Examiners moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Tax Examiners moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Tax Examiners must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, self-control, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Tax Examiners, ranked by importance:

Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Tax Examiners need?

Tax Examiners often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Tax Examiners usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Tax Examiners

  • 1.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 17.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.8% completed some college coursework
  • 10.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 36.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 10.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 2.6% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Tax Examiners

Tax Examiners may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, economics and accounting, or law and government knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Tax Examiners might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Tax Examiners

Tax Examiners must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Tax Examiners need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Tax Examiners, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Tax Examiners

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Tax Examiners frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Tax Examiners, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.