Director, Tax

Columbia University in New York

Deadline Open until filled
Date Posted June 18, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Not specified
Employment Type Full-time

Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.  Columbia is one of the top academic and research institutions in the world, conducting path breaking research in medicine, science, the arts, and the humanities. It includes three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, and a school of continuing education. We are committed to attracting and retaining the best and brightest in the workforce to support our mission of excellence in higher education and research.



Reporting to the Deputy Controller, the Director, Tax is responsible for the leadership and management of the universitys Tax Department.  Overseeing a team of three and working with internal and external constituents, the Executive director:

  • Oversees the development and implementation of efficient and effective compliance reporting and processes,
  • Participates in designing tax strategies and planning with various university stakeholders including the Office of the General Counsel (OGC),
  • Manages the annual 990 and 990T preparation and filing process for Columbia University as well as certain affiliated entities,
  • Ensures international tax compliance by partnering with business units, OGC, and Finance to identify and monitor compliance with country specific requirements,
  • Supports Columbia Investment Management fund managers and OGC  on taxable transaction related issues by identifying tax planning opportunities, mitigating exposure when possible and recommending tax effective methods or processes to be implemented,
  • Serves as a business advisor on various university operations including payment functions; various tax or compliance filings; and other potential business arrangements,
  • Advises university management on tax regulations, changes, or proposals including the impact on operations and recommends modifications to procedures or operations in response to such changes,
  • Conducts compliance reviews or risk assessments around existing filing requirements such as 1099s, W-2s, 1042, 1098 and escheatment processes,
  • Develops training, communications, or educational/advisory materials to educate or assist the university community in meeting their responsibilities on tax related matters,
  • Reviews the adequacy of accounting provisions, tax reserves, and deferred income taxes,
  • Performs other related duties and special projects as assigned.       



Bachelor's degree required; CPA, MBA, JD, or Masters in Taxation highly desirable. A minimum of seven years related experience required including supervisory experience and three years of with non-profit/exempt organization experience, preferably with complex academic or research organizations, required. Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) required. Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including active listening skills, plus the ability to work closely and effectively with a diverse group of senior University administrators, characterized by strong consensus building and relationship building skills, essential.  Must be able to negotiate issues, resolve problems and have strong influencing skills. Experience in developing and directing compliance practices and procedures and familiarity with computer-based accounting systems required.  Strong technical skills in financial analysis, reporting and accounting, along with demonstrated analytical skills to examine processing problems and develop reasonable and practical solutions, required.   The successful candidate must have sound judgment, with an open and collaborative style of leadership that encourages teamwork and cooperation, and a strong role model, manager and coach.  Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.


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Columbia University is an Equal Employment / Affirmative Action Employer

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