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Tax practioners are often mistaken for accountants, which makes sense given that most are trained in accounting and are qualified to answer tax questions and prepare tax returns. Licensing or certification requirements vary by states, but there is generally a legal requirement for tax practitioners to pass an exam and to work under the supervision of a licensed or certified accountant.
The roles and responsibilities of a tax practitioner are dependent upon whether the individual does happen to be a certified public accountant or other licensed tax expert. The principal function of a tax practitioner, though, is to provide tax advice and to prepare tax returns for clients of the firm for whom he or she works. Whether a tax practitioner is a certified public accountant, or an attorney who prepares tax documents for clients, or is a subordinate tax preparer who has not fulfilled the academic and statutory requirements to be a state-certified accountant, they are considered experts on state tax laws.
Tax practitioners assist their clients or taxpayers in adhering to their tax obligation as established by legal frameworks within their jurisdiction. Clients engage tax practitioners in order to receive professional advice and services toward filing accurate returns.
The tax practitioner is responsible for accurately advising the client as per the taxation laws within their jurisdiction. The tax practitioner should ensure that the information required is delivered in an honest manner clear of misrepresentation. The tax practitioner is responsible for informing the client of any conflict of interest arising by conducting the services. This should also be disclosed to the tax authority if and when the practitioner realizes the conflict of interest on their part. Tax practitioners can represent their clients if their personal tax compliance is under investigation or has been officially challenged by the tax authority.
A tax practitioner's main roles and responsibilities include tax advice and tax preparation. In their professional capacity, they advise their clients (individuals or firms) about the taxation requirements, analyze and report the taxation situation and prepare and file the tax returns of the client. They also handle disputes with the taxation authorities. They can work as full-time employees of a firm or as freelancer tax consultants/practitioners.
The tax practitioners are mandated to have a background education in taxation, either through formal education and/or work experience in a similar capacity. The actual requirements vary from state to state and nation to nation. In some countries, tax practitioners can also be certified public accountants. Some states may also require the practitioners to be licensed with a state or national governing body.
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