Best Online Master’s in Taxation Programs

August 13, 2021

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Businesses and individuals often grapple with the complex nature of federal, state, and local taxes. As a result, taxation professionals are in high demand, especially during tax season. Taxation professionals can help clients save money and navigate the complicated nature of tax law.

Earning an online master's in taxation provides students with a specific and useful set of skills that can lead to new careers and increased earning potential. Students often earn these degrees to supplement other business and legal degrees. Read on to learn more about the best online master's in taxation programs.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Taxation Programs? Here Are Our Top Ten:

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#1 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
#2 Boston University Boston, MA
#3 Northeastern University Boston, MA
#4 Villanova University Villanova, PA
#5 New York University New York, NY
#6 Bentley University Waltham, MA
#7 University of Denver Denver, CO
#8 Golden Gate University San Francisco, CA
#9 DePaul University Chicago, IL
#10 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Taxation Programs

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University of Southern California View School Profile Los Angeles, CA

One of the world's leading private research universities, the University of Southern California welcomes more than 44,000 students each year. USC offers online undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in more than a dozen disciplines, including education, engineering, and library science. Among its flexible options is an online master's in taxation.

The business taxation program comprises 15 credits of core coursework and 15 credits of electives. Areas of study include tax theory and ethics, state and local tax concepts, and tax accounting methods. Each virtual class meets for approximately 60-90 minutes, with weekly assignments students complete asynchronously.

Prospective students should have a 3.0 GPA and at least one year of full-time work experience in a tax-related position. The GMAT is required.

Boston University View School Profile Boston, MA

Boston University operates three campuses, offering over 300 programs and serving more than 35,000 students annually. BU offered its first online program in 2002 and has since expanded its distance catalog to include dozens of concentrations, certificates, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

First established in 1959, and now available through distance learning, BU's master of law in taxation law provides graduates with specialized tax training for legal professionals. The 24-credit curriculum consists of courses in federal income taxation, corporate tax, and tax procedure. No thesis is required.

Applicants must hold a degree in law. Admission requires two letters of recommendation, a statement of interest, and CV or resume. Qualified applicants will be interviewed by the program director.

Northeastern University View School Profile Boston, MA

Northeastern University operates a growing network of 11 global locations, with campuses in Boston, Toronto, London, San Francisco, and beyond. Northeastern connects alumni to more than 3,000 corporate partners, helping ensure that 93% of graduates find full-time employment within nine months.

The online master's in taxation program offers a part-time completion schedule of 16 months. Alongside core courses in tax research, practice, and ethics, students can select from two tracks: taxation of entities or taxation of individuals. Graduates find work as auditors, bankers, management consultants, and tax attorneys.

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.25 must submit GMAT scores. A minimum of two years of tax experience — or a JD, CPA, CFP, or Enrolled Agent credential — is required.

Villanova University View School Profile Villanova, PA

Villanova University is a private, Catholic institution serving more than 6,000 undergraduates, 3,000 graduates, and 800 law school students. The school of law offers a juris doctor, four joint degree options, and an online master's degree in taxation. Students can complete the program within two years.

Taxation students must earn a total of 30 credits, consisting of six required courses plus electives. Courses include advanced tax procedure, global tax planning, and wealth tax. If desired, students local to Philadelphia may apply for an internship with the Villanova Law School Federal Tax Clinic or the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel.

Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in accounting or a related field. Currently licensed CPAs do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores.

New York University View School Profile New York, NY

New York University is the largest private university in the U.S., with an annual enrollment of approximately 58,000. Accountants and financial professionals looking to advance their skills may consider NYU's online master of studies in law in taxation.

This asynchronous, part-time degree requires 24-30 credits and takes two years. Only one course — survey of tax procedure — is required, allowing students to customize their curriculum. The program culminates in a final written project addressing a timely topic in tax law or policy.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum of three years of professional experience related to federal, state, or local tax issues. Applicants must also hold either a master's degree in a relevant discipline or CPA licensure.

Bentley University View School Profile Waltham, MA

Bentley University is among the nation's top business schools, with 99% of graduates obtaining jobs within six months of graduation. Master's programs at Bentley offer flexible full-time, part-time, day, evening, and online scheduling to accommodate every learner's needs. Among these options is Bentley's master's in taxation, the largest graduate tax program in New England.

Ten courses are required, with studies in federal taxation of income, mergers and acquisitions, and international tax practice. Online students attend class in real time, fostering active discussion and collaboration with instructors and on-campus students. Graduates are prepared for careers in international accounting, corporate taxation, and wealth management.

Applicants must supply official undergraduate transcripts, two essays, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. The GMAT or GRE requirement may be waived for qualified individuals.

University of Denver View School Profile Denver, CO

The University of Denver is a private research institution with a global presence. The student population welcomes learners from more than 80 countries, and approximately 70% of DU undergraduates participate in study abroad programs. DU's 6,000 graduate students can select from dozens of programs, including an online master's degree in taxation.

The program offers cross-disciplinary experiences and perspectives by placing taxation students in courses alongside juris doctor and LLM students. With a rigorous curriculum covering individual, partnership, and corporate taxation, full-time completion is possible in just one year. Class recordings are accessible through both live and archived, on-demand streaming.

Applicants must submit official undergraduate transcripts. GMAT or GRE scores are required, with waivers available for undergraduate accounting majors, graduate degree-holders, and CPAs.

Golden Gate University View School Profile San Francisco, CA

Since 1901, Golden Gate University has worked to serve the needs of adult learners looking to advance their careers. The private, nonprofit institution provides undergraduate and graduate opportunities in accounting, law, taxation, business, and related areas. Many GGU programs take place fully online.

Online students in the master's in taxation program can start in any term and progress at their own pace, with completion rates averaging 2-4 years. The degree requires a total of 30 credits of coursework, including courses in tax research, property transactions, and federal income taxation. Students are encouraged to participate in an optional internship.

GGU suggests applicants hold a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, but individuals with lower grades can earn admission through employment history, professional accomplishments, and recommendations.

DePaul University View School Profile Chicago, IL

Each year, DePaul University's business school enrolls approximately 3,700 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students. Professionals seeking advancement in taxation may pursue a 46-credit online master's degree in taxation.

Notable courses in the program include current problems in taxation, writing for tax professionals, and various international tax topics. Full-time scheduling allows for completion in just one year, while part-time students average a 2-3 year timeline. If necessary, students may take a semester off during busy periods like the winter tax season.

To apply, prospective students must submit an online application, essay, resume, and official transcripts. Letters of recommendation are optional, and GRE and GMAT scores are not required.

Florida Atlantic University View School Profile Boca Raton, FL

Florida Atlantic University is a major research university serving upwards of 30,000 students each year. FAU operates six campuses along the southeast Florida coast and extends learning opportunities to distance learners through e-learning. Online students can choose from more than 40 programs, including a master's in taxation.

Students in the program can view lectures in real-time through livestream or watch recorded lectures at their convenience. FAU does not hold classes during spring semester tax seasons. Learners can graduate within two years.

Prospective students must have a bachelor's degree with a competitive GPA. FAU accepts applications on a rolling basis, with program start dates occurring each summer and fall.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Taxation Program?

Taxation students develop expertise in tax codes and regulation and prepare for many careers in the tax field.

Students who earn a master's in taxation learn to understand the complex tax regulations prescribed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Taxation students develop expertise in tax codes and regulation and prepare for many careers in the tax field.

Online degree programs provide convenience and flexibility, allowing working students to meet personal and professional responsibilities. Most programs deliver coursework asynchronously, which lets degree-seekers view course material and complete assignments around their schedules.

These online master's programs focus on federal, state, and local tax codes and regulations. Covered topics often include analytics for accountants, tax research, and corporate income tax. By listening to experienced instructors and interacting with working tax professionals, students gain practical and theoretical academic knowledge and make valuable professional connections.

In addition to a thesis or capstone experience, some programs require students to tackle an externship to gain practical experience in the field.

Taxation students typically possess strong organizational and analytical skills. Some programs also require applicants to have several years of practical working experience in the field. Many students use a taxation degree as a practical accompaniment to other legal and/or business degrees.

Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Taxation Programs

Admission requirements for online master's in taxation programs vary based on the individual school, but some general requirements apply across most programs. To pursue a master's degree, applicants need an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.

Most schools require official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a resume explaining an applicant's volunteer and professional experience. Programs may also require GMAT or GRE scores and relevant experience.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Taxation Program?

Online master's in taxation students develop the skills needed to act as competent tax professionals. Learners can also choose elective courses that match with their specific career goals and academic interests. Read on for an overview of some common tax courses.

Federal Tax Issues and Analysis

This survey course broadly examines federal tax issues and how they impact personal and business decisions. Covered topics include property transactions, tax planning, and the tax structure of income and expenses of clients. Through extensive research, learners gain a broad understanding of federal tax issues as they relate to tax planning.

Estate and Gift Taxation

This course explores the taxes related to the transfer of property and wealth. Covered topics include estate valuation, tax deductions, exemptions, and tax rates. Students also learn about financial planning methods applicable to wealth transfer tax law.

Corporations and Shareholders

This course covers topics like capital formation, operations of a corporation, and taxable and tax-free reorganizations. Learners gain an understanding of the critical role corporations play in the federal tax system.

Tax Research, Practice, and Ethics

Through practical exercises, this course helps students develop tax research skills. Exploring procedures used when dealing with the IRS, the course covers filing requirements, appeal procedures, protests, and civil/criminal statutes. Students also explore ideas like client confidentiality and moral judgments in the field of taxation.

Tax Accounting for Income Taxes

This course delves into the nuances of tax accounting for personal income taxes. Offering an expansive investigation of income taxation, this course covers special elections available to taxpayers, long-term contract accounting, and installment reporting.

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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Taxation Degree?

An online master's in taxation allows students to gain targeted expertise that prepares them for specialized work in a variety of professions. In addition to preparing learners for careers as certified public accountants (CPA), this degree is a useful supplement to an MBA or law degree.

Learn more about accounting careers, and see where an online master's in taxation degree can take you.

true Tax Accountant

Tax accountants work with clients to ensure they comply with state and federal tax laws. Especially in need during tax season, for both businesses and individuals, these tax professionals prepare and file taxes on behalf of their clients. Tax accountants also organize, analyze, and maintain financial records.

Tax Analyst

These workers process tax documents for clients and organizations. Tax analysts work with the IRS to clear up tax discrepancies and conduct audits to ensure both fiscal stability and legal taxation practices. Professionals typically possess strong analytical skills and work closely with business professionals and external auditors.

Tax Examiner

Tax examiners and revenue agents determine what taxes are owed by individuals and organizations on behalf of local, state, and federal governments. These tax professionals review filed taxes and determine whether credits and deductions are legal claims. Tax examiners typically have a deep knowledge of tax law and accounting procedures.

Tax Manager

Hired by organizations in myriad fields, tax managers file all tax reports and manage compliance with tax law. They also find applicable deductions and minimize tax payments where legally permissible. These tax professionals work closely with management and are typically proficient in accounting and industry software.

Tax Consultant

Working with businesses and individuals on tax-related issues, tax consultants boast strong analytical and communication skills. Tax consultants often encounter complicated issues with estates and prepare legally complex tax returns.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Taxation Programs

Is a master's in taxation worth it?

A master's in taxation provides learners with the skills needed to pursue taxation careers in myriad fields, broadening a worker's career options and raising their earning potential. These online degrees also provide flexibility for working professionals.

What can I do with a master's in taxation?

Students enrolled in master's in taxation programs gain expertise by completing specialized coursework and fieldwork. As a result, graduates can pursue upper-level tax-related careers.

What's the difference between a master's in accounting and a master's in taxation?

While both degrees provide learners with substantial tax knowledge, a taxation degree focuses more singularly on taxation, while an accounting degree provides learners with more general skills. Both degrees prepare learners to pursue the CPA credential. A master's in taxation can potentially limit career options solely to tax-related careers.

How much money can I make with a master's in taxation?

A worker's earning potential depends on their education, talent, field, and experience. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors earn a median annual salary of $71,550.

What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a master's in taxation?

While salaries can vary significantly, the most lucrative taxation careers are typically associated with management positions. Financial managers, for example, earn a median annual salary of $129,890, according to the BLS.

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