Should I Consider Becoming a Tax Clerk?
Feb 27, 2015 | 9:00 am
Are you thinking of becoming a tax clerk, but you are not sure whether or not you should choose this career path? Knowing more about tax clerks and what they do can help you make up your mind.
Tax clerks are people who work in the office of a “tax collector” and are responsible for a variety of functions like collecting payments or sending out bills for a particular region. Tax clerks may also have the responsibility of maintaining and issuing permits and licenses to residents. This position is actually considered as an entry-level position where the clerk will report to a tax collector. Clerks may also work at the local or national level.
The Duties of a Local Tax Clerk
This is an entry-level position where the clerk works in the town or city’s collections department. The tax clerks are responsible for:
•Answering the telephones
•Answering enquiries about taxes
•Accepting residential tax payments
•Accepting business tax payments
•Documenting every payment
Tax clerks may also work with residents in order to create a flexible payment plan to help them pay off their tax bills by a certain date. The clerks work under the supervision of their boss (the tax collector) and may work alone when the collector isn’t present.
The clerk may also be responsible for issuing permits or licenses like dog licenses, animal owner licenses, fishing and hunting licenses and permits for constructing buildings. Tax clerks may be responsible for obtaining the necessary information and ensuring that residents qualify for the license or permit. If the resident is qualified, the clerk will then ensure that he or she distributes the requested documentation and records the information. The clerk will then check these files in order to ensure that the residents comply with law.
Education and Skills Needed to Be a Tax Clerk
Because this is an entry-level position, you will need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent in order to work as a clerk in a tax collector’s office. Still, having an associate’s degree is typically the minimum requirement according to employers. You will get plenty of on-the-job training. Additional education or training in accounting, property assessment, or any other tax related courses is an added asset for those who choose to work as tax clerks.
Employers may require clerks to have basic math skills, computer skills, telephone skills, and customer service skills. This is an entry-level position that can take you place in your career ahead.
Tax clerks may work at the federal level and help tax collector in order to obtain taxes that are being owned to national tax collection agencies like the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) in the US. The job responsibilities are typically the same, whether the tax clerks work for the local municipal or a big national agency. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly rate for clerks as of May 2012 was $13.21 per hour – which is not bad for an entry-level position.