A tax analyst has studied and has a working knowledge of primary tax law consisting ofstatutes (Title 26 of the US Code known as the Internal Revenue Code); administrative tax law (Treasury Tax Regulations and other primary tax authority issued by the Treasury Department); and tax judicial decisions.  The tax analyst researches tax issues through online subscription tax law services. 

In addition, the individual will use secondary tax sources such as a specialized tax subject Tax Treatise drafted by a tax law expert(s). These specialized Treatises will always refer the analyst back to primary tax law. And, a trained tax analyst will never provide tax advise without primary tax authority support. For US international tax law situations, the tax analyst will also review an applicable tax treaty if it applies in the particular situation.

The tax analyst has the ability through formal training to apply tax strategies for various client more complex tax situations. The analyst will provide alternative recommendations along with a proposed tax solution for a given situation based on primary tax law.

Formal training takes two key routes. The individual may have trained as an attorney and now specializes in tax law.  Since tax analysis at the higher level consists of interrupting and applying tax law, the attorney may gain the specialized tax law knowledge by practicing tax within a firm and/or by completing a LLM Tax Program (a graduate tax degree for an individual with a JD degree).

Or, a non attorney tax analyst may have completed a specialized Master’s degree program known as Master of Science in Taxation, Master of Business Taxation, or Master of Taxation.  Here, the individual learns how to apply law as it relates specifically and only to taxes.  

Master programs will consist of core tax courses and tax electives. And some programs may have specialized subprograms which the individual completes as a post master’s designation. As an example, a tax analyst completing a post master’s designation may specialize in international taxation advanced studies by taking a series or courses such as: inbound international tax law; outbound international tax law; international acquisitions tax law; and income tax treaties. 

A tax analyst working with clients may practice before the IRS if he/she is a state licensed attorney, federal enrolled agent, or a state licensed certified public accountant.  And, a tax analyst practices before the IRS when he/she drafts written client tax reports if these reports contain tax minimization strategies as a subpart of the main report as covered in Internal Revenue Manual