Various reasons caused the demand for tax practitioners to increase, creating a need for specialised tax education and training. Since the tax profession is not currently regulated in South Africa, educators receive little input from employers on their expectations regarding formal tax qualifications. This causes uncertainty as to whether or not employers are satisfied with tax education in South Africa. This article reports on the current and preferred composition of tax departments, considering South African employees’ qualifications. The article also highlights employers’ current views and preferences regarding theoretical knowledge and practical skills included in these qualifications. Any agreements between the employees’ current views and preferences are indicated. Data was gathered by using questionnaires and the population on which it was tested comprised partners of the tax departments of certain financial consulting firms. The results show that there is not a fundamental difference between the current and preferred composition of tax departments. There is also evidence that employers’ preferences regarding theoretical knowledge and practical skills differ from their current views. It is therefore recommended that tax education in South Africa is regulated to ensure that employers can provide input on the curricula included in tax qualifications.