What Is a Tax Consultant?

Tax consultants help their clients save money by making wise financial decisions about tax-related issues. They interview clients to gather information about their financial situations and devise strategies to help them reduce their tax liability by taking advantage of tax credits and deductions. Tax consultants ensure their clients fulfill their tax obligations and follow the law.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Tax Consultant?

Tax consultants prepare or help prepare tax returns for individuals, organizations, and businesses. The tax returns they prepare vary from simple to complex, and they require significant knowledge of tax rules and regulations. These professionals figure out strategies to minimize taxation by taking advantage of tax deductions and credits.

Tax consultants determine how much their clients owe in taxes. In some cases, they determine how much clients overpaid in taxes. They use computers and adding machines to calculate the correct amounts. They follow while following tax form instructions and consulting tax tables to make correct determinations.

Tax consultants gather relevant financial and tax information from their clients through interviews. Such information includes clients' taxable income, allowances, and deductible expenses. In some cases, tax consultants use this information to prepare clients' tax returns. In other instances, they provide information to clients so they can prepare their own tax returns.

Employers often require tax professionals to possess multiple technology skills to perform their job duties. These may include an understanding of how to use accounting software (e.g. Intuit QuickBooks), email software (e.g. Microsoft Outlook), and spreadsheet software (e.g. Microsoft Excel). Tax consultants also need to know how to use tax preparation software and financial analysis software.

Clients often hire tax consultants to gather information and perform legal research for them. Tax consultants must know how to give taxpayers the data they need to complete their tax forms correctly. They should also know how to explain state and federal tax laws to individuals and organizations.

Because the tax code changes so often, tax consultants must continually update their knowledge to ensure they give clients accurate information. This may include taking professional development and continuing education courses, active membership with tax consultant professional groups, and attending conferences.

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