I posed a question on my Linked In account. I asked “What about working in sales and use tax do you enjoy most?” I was pleasantly surprised at the very thoughtful responses I received. As a sales tax professional, it felt good to hear what it is that drives other individuals in my profession.
And like me, others had multiple reasons for enjoying working in the sales tax field. This may seem surprising to some, but not to me! I’ve known for a long time that sales and use tax is a great career. And the responses validated and confirmed some of the reasons I find it to be so rewarding. Here’s what I heard from tax professionals like you!
One of my favorite things about working with sales tax is that it never grows stale. I’ve been a sales tax professional for over 30 years and I can say with confidence that never once has the job been boring. One of the reasons for this is that every state handles sales and use tax differently. For people who love to dig down and research to understand why something is the way it is, doing so for state sales tax is very rewarding.
The responses I got really backed this up. I heard that sales tax professionals love the day-to-day challenges, the fact that they are continuously learning, developing negotiation skills to use with auditors, and learning from clients on how they handle sales tax issues as well as providing them with a different perspective. It’s a two way street: For those of us who work with clients, everyone involved can learn something new. It’s that variety and the opportunity to be a trusted business advisor to my clients that have kept me in this field.
Not to mention that the way that each individual state treats items for sales and use tax purposes is constantly changing. One respondent noted that each state auditor throughout the country has a different interpretation of state sales tax law. He also observed that as sales tax professionals, we all know the black and white issues when it comes to sales tax – it’s the shades of gray when it comes to interpretation of the law that keep things interesting.
One of the respondents told me that during audits, she secretly feels like she’s wearing a cape – that she’s a superhero representing the “little guy” – when she’s keeping her clients from being bullied, yet fairly obeying the law. I loved this superhero analogy. Who would have thought as a sales tax professional you could SAVE THE DAY for your company!
One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is the opportunity to represent my clients to get the most advantageous sales tax treatment within the confines of the law. It has been tremendously satisfying to know that my actions help companies save money and comply with the law.
One respondent likes that she has the ability to really help her clients, to have that level of trust with them, and to know that her expertise is helping them to address complex issues that they may have trouble grasping on their own.
Another individual noted that the sales and use tax area provides unique opportunities to provide benefits as opposed to working with other types of taxes. Having worked with income tax and franchise tax, he finds that he can provide a greater benefit to his company in the sales and use tax area.
So there you have it: Sales tax professionals are some of the unsung heroes of the tax game!
As a sales tax professional, I see every day that what I do makes an impact to the bottom line for businesses. And I’m not alone. One of the great, tangible benefits of working in the sales tax field is seeing your actions directly lead to businesses saving money. What we do helps businesses flourish and grow.
One individual noted that sales tax is the only tax you pay that you can make money from by paying your tax on time and getting a discount. These types of discounts can be funneled back into the company to use for any number of purposes.
Another respondent noted that one of the things he likes most is that he can reduce overpayment of taxes for his company. This is the sort of concrete, tangible benefit that we as sales tax professionals can bring to our bosses to show why our work matters. It all comes back to being the superhero!
This blog post is also published on Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-do-you-enjoy-being-sales-tax-professional-diane-yetter