According to Benjamin Franklin, “nothing is certain but death and taxes.” For those who find tax law confusing or burdensome, a professional consultant can help. A tax consultant works to reduce the amount of taxes a client must pay by evaluating financial information, filing required forms and assisting with other tax-related matters. Many professionals in this field also work to minimize business tax liability and ensure businesses take advantage of all tax benefits available to them.
A career as a tax consultant requires a strong background in accounting, finance, accounting law and taxation. In order to provide the best advice possible, it is important to remain abreast of all current tax law requirements and changes, both on a state and federal level. Many experts suggest pursuing at least an associate degree in accounting or a related field to gain the skills necessary to excel as a tax consultant. Those who wish to pursue a more advanced position may choose to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the subject area.
Some tax consultants specialize in a specific area of the profession, such as estate, trust or retirement taxes. Others may opt to work with individuals, businesses or both. Working as a tax consultant can offer job stability as the demand for this type of service remains consistent regardless of economic conditions.
In addition to preparing tax returns, these professionals also advise clients on ways to legally reduce their tax liability and compute taxes on diverse investment portfolios. A tax consultant should have excellent written and verbal communication skills in order to discuss complex matters with clients.
As a tax consultant, you may be responsible for representing your clients in their dealings with the IRS. This can include negotiating a settlement for back tax debt, answering questions from the IRS and more. If you are interested in specializing in this aspect of the profession, an enrolled agent certification from the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation can enhance your job opportunities.
Those who work as a tax consultant should be prepared for a spike in their workload from January to mid-April, when most people file their income taxes in the United States. This is followed by a surge in activity in early to mid-fall when clients file for six-month extensions or address any errors made on their original return.
A tax consultant can either be employed by a consulting firm, a public accounting firm or may operate independently. Those who choose to work on their own often seek additional certification from the Accreditation Council for Accountancy to boost their professional standing and allow them to charge more for their services. This credential requires passing a professional exam and documenting three years of tax preparation experience. This additional certification can increase the likelihood of landing a high-paying tax consultant job. Those who work in this field can benefit from securing accounting internships or participating in a vacation scheme with a local chartered accountant firm before beginning their careers as tax consultants. Steuerberater