Overview of Tax Auditing Careers and Auditing Standards

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Accounting




Michael Rolleri


Tax auditing --United States, Auditing --Standards --United States.

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 .N29 Acc. 1993 no.3


In all the accounting and auditing courses needed to earn a Master's Degree in Accounting at the University of New Haven, nothing is taught about tax auditing. Whenever the average person hears the word "audit," he or she immediately thinks of the Internal Revenue Service, and breaks out in a cold sweat. Tax auditors are not ogres or monsters, but accountants who work for a government's tax administration. Every state in the United States employs a staff of auditors to help enforce its tax laws.

Tax auditing is different from financial statement auditing, internal auditing, and governmental auditing. There are many common factors and some distinct variations among all four types of auditing that will be discussed in depth. Each audit type has its own set of standards to be observed, which are presented and analyzed.

Governments finance their operations primarily through tax revenues. The government must rely on taxpayers to voluntarily comply with the tax laws. The method used to enforce the government's tax laws is the tax audit. Tax audits are necessary because taxpayers will not continue to comply without some incentive to do so. Compliance and auditing are interrelated. Public relations plays an important role in maintaining compliance and in successful enforcement efforts.

The procedures used to conduct a tax audit can be described in terms that are common to all types of tax audits. The specific evidence gathering steps are unique to each different tax administered by each different tax authority.

A career as a tax auditor can be fun, stressful, exciting, boring, challenging, frustrating, rewarding, dangerous, cushy, and more. We will take a look at some of the interesting facets of life within a tax administration.

Libraries are fuil of books and magazines on the Internai Revenue Service, but there is nothing on any other type of tax auditing. I wanted to know more, so I sent a questionnaire to state tax departments across the United States. Many tax officials took the time to respond. I have compiled and analyzed the results of this survey.

A successful auditor needs a certain temperament. I have concluded with a discussion of personal attributes that would be beneficial to a person contemplating a career in tax auditing.