What are the roles and responsibilities of a tax practitioner?
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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.
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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