Pros and Cons of Being a Property Tax Manager
As a property tax manager you'll be responsible for overseeing tax matters on properties that could be worth millions of dollars. Here are some pros and cons that may help you decide whether this profession is best for you.
|Pros of Being a Property Tax Manager|
|High earning potential*|
|Jobs available with a bachelor's degree**|
|May stand out with certification**|
|Cons of Being a Property Tax Manager|
|Requires several years of experience*|
|A master's degree is preferred**|
|Usually requires working long hours**|
Sources: *Salary.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).
A property tax manager oversees the property taxes that a company is responsible for. One of your primary duties would be to reduce tax liabilities so owners won't pay more taxes than is owed. To accomplish this, you'll determine the fair market value of your properties and analyze tax law to determine the amount due to local and state tax jurisdictions.
You'll ensure your company remains compliant with tax laws and accountable to regulatory agencies. Other responsibilities include making sure tax accounts are reconciled, audits are responded to and that best practices are followed. As a property tax manager, you'll record property assets and file annual tax returns. You'll work closely with government property tax assessors to determine if the tax value of a property was assessed appropriately. To resolve disagreements in assessments, you may represent the company at tax hearings to provide evidence on the assessed value of the property in dispute.
Job Outlook and Salary
Property tax managers are classified within the broader job category of financial management. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for financial managers is expected to grow about 7% from 2014-2014, which is equal to the average for all other jobs (www.bls.gov). Even so, job prospects may be favorable for property tax managers who complete a bachelor's or master's degree program in majors such as accounting, business administration, finance or real estate, the BLS noted. Also, having professional certifications may increase your potential for hire. According to data as of January 2016 on Salary.com, the annual pay for tax managers ranged from about $86,754 to $136,109.
The employment outlooks for other real estate jobs are comparable to property tax managers. For example, property and real estate managers, as well as real estate assessors, are expected to experience fast as average job growth between 2014 and 2024, the BLS noted. This growth rate is attributed to the fluctuation of the real estate market.
What are the Requirements?
You'll need at least a bachelor's degree to work as a property tax manager. Degrees in accounting, business administration, finance or economics are some appropriate majors. The BLS noted that an increasing number of employers seek candidates who have a master's degree in these fields.
You'll also need to gain work experience about real and personal property taxes. According to Salary.com, you'll need at least seven years of experience to become a tax manager. In addition to a bachelor's degree, you'll need to acquire analytical, communication, organizational and math skills for success in this position.
Job Postings from Real Employers
Most job postings for property tax managers require a bachelor's degree and at least five years of experience. A degree in accounting, finance and real estate were the most requested degrees employers sought. Also, job applicants who hold a professional credential in areas such as accounting, appraisal or taxation are preferred. Here's a list of job postings for property tax managers in March 2012 that may give you some insight into what employers were looking:
- A Florida global engineering company sought an individual to perform tax accounting, compliance and planning duties relating to real and personal properties. This candidate must have a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, plus 5-8 years of relevant experience. A master's degree is preferred, along with a Certified Master of the Institute (CMI) certification from the Institute for Tax Professionals (IPT).
- A Georgia property tax services company was looking a candidate to manage a minimum of $500,000 worth of new and existing tax business. Requirements included a bachelor's degree in real estate, accounting or other relevant field, plus five years of experience. This employer prefers a candidate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree, plus a relevant certification.
- A tax consulting company in Chicago, IL, wanted a candidate with a degree in finance or accounting and 6-8 years of experience in tax consulting to manage real and personal property affairs. This candidate must have one of the following designations: Certified Public Account (CPA), an accredited member of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), a Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI) or a CMI certification.
- A staffing firm in Ohio sought an applicant with a 4-year degree to perform various tax management duties, including working with real estate assessors, representing the company during audits and filing annual tax returns.
How to Stand Out?
If you want to stand out among the pack, you should pursue professional credentials that establish your knowledge, skills and experience. The highest level of distinction you may obtain as a business tax professional is the CMI designation offered by the IPT. The IPT offers certifications in income, property and sales tax.
To take the property tax certification exam, you must be a member of the IPT, have administrative experience in property tax, complete the IPT's tax school programs and meet other educational requirements. After passing the exam, you'll be required to participate in continuing education programs.
Other Career Paths
Real Estate Assessor
If you're not sure pursuing a property tax manager career is for you, you can still have a career that combines properties and taxes by working as a real estate assessor. In this position, you would evaluate the tax value of homes, usually for a local government agency. Your evaluation would be used to determine how much property taxes homeowners pay.
A high school diploma and on-the-job training are usually the minimum education needed to work in this field; each state or locality has different education requirements. In some instances, your employer will provide educational courses and on-the-job training to prepare you for any required certificate or licensure exams. According to the BLS, real estate assessors and appraisers earned a median salary of about $49,000 in May 2011.
Community Association, Property or Real Estate Manager
For a management career in real estate that isn't focused on taxes, you may think about becoming a community association, property or real estate manager. As a property or real estate manager, you'll work to produce income for property owners and investors. As a community association manager, you'll handle the daily operations of a residential community. Some states may require that community association managers obtain a state license to work in this position.
Additionally, you'll need a state license if your job involves buying or selling properties. According to the BLS, you will most likely need a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field for real estate management positions. As of May 2011, the median salary earned by professionals in this occupation was about $51,000, according to the BLS.