At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
A tax advisor provides guidance and direction to clients regarding local and regional tax obligations, guidelines and payment options. She is often hired by a taxpayer to calculate their financial obligations and file the required documents, but may also be employed solely in an advisory capacity. A person in this position may be a paid staff member at an accounting or tax preparation firm or work as an independent, self-employed contractor.
People who use tax advisors include a wide range of consumers. Since tax advisors generally have knowledge of both personal and business tax laws, they are typically qualified to dispense information to individuals, families and partnerships. Small companies, corporations and family trusts may also seek the counsel of a tax advisor.
In addition to advising on current tax responsibilities, a tax advisor often provides ongoing counseling to clients to keep them advised of changes in rules and regulations that may affect their tax duties. She may suggest restructuring businesses, investments or exemption claims to positively affect future tax debts. If a consumer is required to communicate with tax imposing organizations, a tax advisor may often do so on behalf of her customer.
Besides working in an advisory capacity, a person in this position typically educates herself on tax law analysis to be able to be of service to a broader client base. The more she knows about relevant legislation and revenue stipulations, the greater asset she is to her company and customers. Developing a rapport with people within the taxing authority is commonly considered an advantage when negotiating on her clients’ behalves.
Other services ordinarily offered by a tax advisor include payroll preparation, general bookkeeping and investment planning. Structuring and managing family trusts and estate planning are other commonly offered specialties. The range of services normally offered depends on the size of the firm and the tax advisor’s areas of specialization.
Achieving success as a tax advisor normally requires exemplary research and communication skills. Understanding her clients’ diverse needs is necessary for her to provide them with the best advice and service. She should also have a great business sense and expertise in the latest accounting and tax preparation software programs.
This position normally requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting, auditing or business. Some companies may demand a master’s degree in business administration or accounting. Due to the constantly changing regulations in the field of tax reporting and exemptions, ongoing education is a regular part of a successful career in tax advising. Experience in accounting or tax preparation may be an advantage to aspiring candidates.