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What Is a Tax Clerk?

Math skills are among the talents necessary to become a tax clerk.
A high school diploma is typically the minimum educational requirement to become a tax clerk.
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  • Written By: Janis Bennett
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
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A tax clerk is an individual who works in a tax collector’s office and is responsible for various tax functions, such as sending out tax bills and collecting tax payments for a specific region. The clerk also might be responsible for issuing and maintaining licenses and permits to residents. This position is considered an entry-level job that reports to a tax collector. A tax clerk might work at the local or national level.

A local tax clerk is an entry-level position that provides office duties in a city or town’s collection department. The clerk’s responsibilities often include answering phones, answering tax questions, filing paperwork, accepting residential and local business tax payments and documenting those payments. The clerk also might work with residents to create a payment plan to pay their tax bills off by a certain date. The clerk works under the supervision of the tax collector and might function alone in the collector’s absence.

The clerk also might be responsible for issuing licenses or permits, such as animal owner licenses, dog licenses, hunting and fishing licenses and building permits. The tax clerk might be responsible for collecting the necessary information and making sure that the resident qualifies for the permit or license. If the person is qualified, the clerk will distribute the requested documentation and then record the data. He or she will monitor these files to make sure that residents stay in compliance with the law.

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This is an entry-level office position that usually does not require secondary schooling. A high school diploma usually is the minimum schooling requirement needed, because the individual will receive on-the-job training. Of course, any additional schooling in property assessment, accounting or other tax-related courses will benefit the individual working as a tax clerk. Employers might require the clerk to have basic computer skills along with customer service skills, math skills and telephone skills.

A tax clerk also might work at the federal level and assist a tax collector in obtaining taxes that are owed to national tax collection agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States, the Canada Revenue Agency or Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the United Kingdom. The job duties are basically the same, whether the clerk works for a local municipal or a large national agency.

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