|On-the-job Training||Many tax consultancy jobs require related work experience and training.|
|College Degree||Tax consultants do not need any specific formal education or training, but many tax professionals hold at least a bachelor's degree in fields like accounting or finance.|
|Registration||Professionals who prepare tax returns must register with the IRS as tax return preparers.|
Tax Consultant Career Overview
What is Tax Consulting?
Do you want to help people and organizations improve their financial security? If so, a career in tax consulting might appeal to you. Tax consulting helps people make informed decisions about tax-related issues. Tax consultants use their expertise to help clients comply with tax regulations and take advantage of adjustments, deductions, and credits that let them keep more of their money.
The complex U.S. tax code proves confusing to many people. A lucrative, stable, and in-demand career, tax consultants earn an average of $60,235 annually, according to PayScale. PayScale also finds that tax consultants report a high level of job satisfaction.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also estimates that 90% of taxpayers get help when they prepare their tax returns.
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 specific job responsibilities do tax consultants perform? Read on to learn more about these professionals' job duties and day-to-day responsibilities as tax consultants.
What Does a Tax Consultant Do?
This section explores some of the tasks tax consultants perform each day and what it takes to succeed in the field. Specific job duties and areas of focus vary by position. The best tax consultants enjoy solving problems and working with people, demonstrating both accuracy and honesty in their work.
Tax consultants help clients with a variety of tax-related issues. Mainly, they make sure clients comply with tax rules and regulations. They also use their expertise and knowledge of the U.S. tax code to help individuals and businesses pay what they owe. 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.
Some tax advisors specialize in a narrow area of tax law, while others take a generalized approach.
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.
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.
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.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Tax Consultant?
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Tax Consultant?
|Speaking||Tax consultants need to be able to speak and communicate effectively with their clients and others.|
|Active Listening||Tax professionals need to be able to listen closely without interrupting to comprehend clients' financial situations.|
|Critical Thinking||Tax consultants need to effectively use reasoning and logic to create strategic approaches to questions.|
|Complex Problem-Solving||Working with tax information often involves complex problems, so tax professionals must know how to effectively identify and develop strategic solutions to problems.|
|Written Comprehension||Tax professionals must know how to understand and read written information.|
|Oral Comprehension||Tax consultants need to understand and listen to spoken information.|
|Deductive Reasoning||Professionals in tax consultancy must know how to identify answers or approaches to problems using reasoning and logic.|
|Oral Expression||Tax consultants must communicate ideas and information so others can easily understand it.|
|Tax Code||Tax consultants must possess advanced knowledge of U.S. tax rules and regulations.|
|English Language||Tax consultants working in the U.S. must know how to speak and read English, understanding the rules of grammar, spelling, and composition.|
|Mathematics||Tax professionals need a solid grasp of arithmetic, statistics, algebra, calculus, and geometry.|
|Customer Service||Because tax consulting involves working directly with people, tax consultants must understand how to effectively provide services to customers.|
|Economics and Accounting||Tax professionals need to understand accounting and economic principles and practices, including reporting and analysis of financial data and the financial markets.|
How are Tax Consultants Employed?
Public Accounting Firms
Many tax consultants work for public accounting firms, which provide accounting services to other organizations. These consultants provide accounting, auditing, and tax services to clients.
Local, State, and Federal Government
Government agencies at the local, state, and federal level all employ tax consultants. The IRS hires tax consultants to conduct reviews of policies, evaluate taxpayer education programs, and provide technical assistance to staff.
Specialty Tax Consulting Firms
Some tax consulting firms focus on specialized areas of tax law, including international tax law, income tax law, and payroll tax law. Tax consultants must possess expert knowledge to work at these specialty firms.
Corporate Tax Offices
U.S. and international corporations often feature their own corporate tax offices, which employ tax consultants. Tax professionals who work in these settings often perform tax planning and research on behalf of their company.
Tax consultants may work at law organizations with their own tax practices. Tax situations for legal firms can become very complex, necessitating specialized help.
Learn More About Tax Consultants and Take the First Step Today!
Explore Salary Information and Career Outlook for Tax Consultants
Learn How to Become a Tax Consultant
Explore Accounting Degree Programs
Professional Organizations for Tax Consultants
- National Association of Tax Preparers NATP represents more than 23,000 tax preparers in the United States. Members receive access to classified ads, continuing education opportunities, and a tax knowledge center.
- National Society of Tax Professionals Founded in 1985, the NSTP serves American tax professionals. The group offers educational workshops, a classifieds section, a blog, and networking events.
- National Association of Enrolled Agents The NAEA delivers educational opportunities, networking events, and other resources for tax professionals and enrolled agents. Enrolled agents operate as federally licensed expert tax professionals who can represent taxpayers for the IRS.
- National Society of Accountants This professional organization of accountants and tax professionals includes a directory of tax consultants. Members get access to publications, educational workshops, and events.
- National Association of Registered Tax Return Preparers NARTRP advocates for tax return preparers and offers a variety of continuing education opportunities. Members enjoy access to more than 20 video courses available 24/7.