A career in tax consulting does not require formal education, but many tax advisors have degrees. To become an accredited tax advisor, you'll need at least three years of tax-focused work experience. A tax advisor's salary range can vary greatly depending on location, experience, education, and appointments achieved. Anyone can prepare a paid tax return as long as they have an IRS tax preparer identification number (PTIN).
For those who want to specialize in tax law, a law degree provides in-depth knowledge of the subject. If you have been financially affected by a tax return preparer's misconduct or improper tax preparation practices, you can file a complaint with the IRS. Tax advisors can create professional networks that generate job opportunities as they move to fiscal strategy and tax planning. A certified public accountant (CPA) license and related experience can be an attractive asset for aspiring tax advisors. Tax analyst jobs are usually highly specialized and are designed to address the different types of tax obligations that a larger organization is likely to have.
Tax preparers primarily help clients identify and claim deductions and credits that reduce their tax burdens. They serve both businesses and individuals by keeping up with new tax laws and positioning taxpayers for short- and long-term tax optimization. To become an Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA), the candidate must have at least five years of experience in a tax-related profession, and at least 40% of the work must be dedicated to tax planning and consulting. For companies that operate internationally, transactional taxes include GST in Canada and value added tax (VAT) in many other countries. Licensing as a CPA demonstrates the formal education and professional experience needed to support a future as a successful tax consultant.
The most fundamental skill needed to succeed as a tax advisor is a thorough knowledge of all federal, state and local tax laws. The IRS provides tips to avoid unscrupulous tax preparers and is committed to investigating paid tax return preparers who act improperly.