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 Does a Tax Consultant Do?
- Tax consultants help clients with a variety of tax-related issues. Mainly, they make sure clients comply with tax rules and regulations. These professionals help individuals and organizations minimize tax liability by decreasing their taxable income and taking advantage of all applicable adjustments, deductions, and tax credits.
- Tax consultants often prepare tax returns for clients, or they provide information and advice to help clients fill out their own tax returns. They answer client questions, help them prepare for future tax situations, and analyze information to ensure compliance with government regulations. These professionals may check others’ work to detect errors in tax preparation. The legal and logistical complexity of client situations varies considerably. Some tax advisors specialize in a narrow area of tax law, while others take a generalized approach.
- Tax consultant services can help people deal with concrete issues like setting up trusts, managing taxes from rental incomes, and understanding the tax implications of births, deaths, divorces, marriages, and other life events.
- Tax consultants should boast strong skills in communication, critical thinking, and complex problem solving. Because tax consultants work with the public, they need excellent interpersonal and customer service abilities, as well. They should know how to listen to people to understand their financial situations and what type of help they need. They must be able to clearly communicate verbally and in writing.
- Tax consultants must know how to decipher complex legal information. They should work well with numbers, stay organized, and pay attention to detail. It also helps to hold strong legal research skills and an understanding of laws, legal codes, government regulations, and agency rules. Tax professionals must demonstrate proficiency in technology, including accounting software, email software, financial analysis software spreadsheet software, and tax preparation software. They should feel comfortable working with personal computers.
- Tax professionals work in office environments and use personal computers with software programs to complete job responsibilities. They also use telephones to communicate with clients and may consult tax law handbooks to determine the correct procedures for dealing with atypical tax situations.
- A variety of organizations employ tax professionals, including professional services firms like public accounting firms, specialty tax consulting firms, and law organizations with their own tax practices. Government agencies at the local, state, and federal level also employ tax consultants. Tax consultants also work in corporate tax offices for U.S. and international corporations, and in some foundations and nonprofit groups.
- Tax professionals work in a wide variety of positions as income tax preparers, certified income tax preparers (CTP), enrolled agents, master tax advisors, tax associates, tax preparers, corporate tax preparers, and tax specialists. Some consultants specialize in more narrow areas of tax consulting, such as corporate tax, income tax, or international tax. The next section delves into more detail about specific job responsibilities for tax consultants.
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