A Career in Tax Consulting
A tax consultant advises clients on their financial situation and helps them comply with the law by reducing potential liability. A career as a tax consultant requires an advanced understanding of the law and accounting principles. It is a good fit for detail-oriented people who enjoy working with numbers and financial data. People with prior experience as certified public accountants (CPAs) or tax attorneys often find success in this role.
Many people use tax consultants to help them file their taxes, especially if they have complicated personal or business situations. A knowledgeable tax consultant can reduce the amount owed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and prevent future problems. A tax professional can also serve as a counselor and adviser, offering guidance on how to save money, avoid penalties, or invest wisely.
The qualifications needed to be a tax consultant include a relevant degree, an understanding of accounting and taxation laws, and the ability to work with computers and various types of software programs related to tax preparation, such as spreadsheets and database management systems. Some tax consultants have a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance, or a similar field of study and may have a master’s degree in specialized areas like international taxation. A tax consultant must be licensed by the IRS and may be required to complete continuing education courses each year to maintain credentials.
Tax consultants can work in an office setting or from their home, depending on the type of services they offer. Most specialize in one or more areas of taxation and may provide advice via phone, email, or online videoconferencing. In some cases, they are independent contractors who contract with a variety of companies and individuals for their taxation expertise. Others are employed by organizations such as financial consulting firms, public accounting firms, and the government.
When choosing a tax consultant, it is important to find someone you trust and feel comfortable sharing personal information with. You may want to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations, or search the Internet for reviews of local tax specialists. Ask about the consultant’s background and specializations before hiring them, including their area of expertise and whether they are an enrolled agent or CPA.
Some tax consultants have a license from the IRS to represent their clients in dealings with the agency, and can prepare and file complex returns. In this capacity, they can represent a variety of clients, including small businesses, estates and trusts, and corporations and individuals.
The duties of a tax consultant are to assess the client’s financial situation, review records and documents, and prepare and file taxes on behalf of the client. These professionals can also assist clients in minimizing their taxable income by providing guidance on available deductions and advising them on the proper filing process. They can also act as a liaison between the client and the IRS in case of audit or collection proceedings. Some tax consultants have the additional credential of enrolled agent, which allows them to represent their clients before the IRS in tax-related matters that are not complicated or complex. Steuerberater