What are the duties of a tax accountant?
I am planning to get a tax accountant to manage my company's taxes. I am curious about knowing what the major duties or roles of a tax accountant are.
A tax accountant more than just prepares and lodges tax returns but also does tax planning and other tax strategies to build a better business. This includes tax minimisation methods to help reduce tax liability whilst ensuring compliance.
A good tax accountant should plan for the future as well as reviewing the past. He should advise on the best way to incur capital expenditure to maximise the tax relief. He should keep you abreast of any major changes in the tax legislation, and the possible effects it might have on your business.
Derek Williamson - Goddards Accountants
Each of the responses provided here will give you an indication of what a tax accountant could perform and what are his/her duties in the business structure. However, just affirm that the tax accountant you hire possess the qualifications of carrying out the business accounts in a full-fledged manner, and with a certification too (CPA or so..). As well, try incurring if they have had any previous experience or so, and their abilities in handling the business accounts.
If interested, you can also check out Tallyaccountants.co.uk to know more about professional tax accountants and the services rendered.
A tax accountant is a professional who prepares and files tax returns, answer tax questions, advises clients on the tax implication related to certain financial transactions, research current and past tax laws, present the best legal alternate tax situation, and handles all tax compliance issues.
To help you make decisions which will minimize the tax impact, to help you efficiently manage the timing of paying taxes, to recommend streamlining your accounting process so that the information required to file timely tax returns (sales, payroll, income & other) is available, to make sure they are then accurately completed, filed and paid, and to make sure that you are complying with all the taxing authorities your are subject to. Sorry for the stream of consciousness.
Normally, when someone refers to a tax accountant, they are not referring to a member of the company's staff who handles calculation and Payment of Payroll taxes, and other State taxes for Sales, Unemployment or State Industrial. Those are fairly straightforward in terms of their calculations and can be handled by the same staff that handles other vendor payments.
The purpose of a tax accountant is to focus on the steps your company can take to reduce the overall impact of your annual income taxes. Depending on the structure of your company, this may also include the analysis of the personal taxes of each of the owners; which will be impacted by the methods chosen for the structure of the company and the timing of financial decisions.
The tax accountant's role is strategic in nature and benefits from maintaining continuity from year to year. You would consult with them on a regular basis, just as you would your attorney.
Please let me know if this didn't answer your question. I'd be happy to further explain, based on your business structure.
Here's 5 tips to help you make the most of the relationship with a tax professional:
1. Choose your tax professional wisely.
Did you know that anyone can be a tax professional or that anyone can call himself/herself an accountant? It's true.
These professions in Canada are self-regulated, which means you are on your own to determine whether what you are getting is what you think you are getting. To make matters worse, in the eyes of the law, you are on the hook if the “tax professional” you choose makes a mess of your tax return preparation.
So, how can you protect yourself?
Start by asking the prospective tax professional the right questions:
How long have you been in business?
How many clients have you served?
Do you guarantee your work?
Will you represent me if I am audited?
How do you stay on top of the latest tax rules?
2. Take a long-term view of the relationship
Treating your income taxes as a once-a-year activity may mean that you're leaving money on the table. Once-a-year pop-up tax professionals typically do not offer long-term tax advice that could help to maximize your tax refund over the long term.
By engaging in a year-around relationship with your tax professional you can take advantage of tax optimization programs, advanced tax planning, and service guarantees that could include audit protection.
By working with the same tax professional each year all-year-round, you benefit because they become familiar with your situation and can quickly spot discrepancies, changes, and opportunities to help you save.
In other words, you end up with more money in your pocket.
3. Keep your books and records organized.
Your tax professional can only report on what you bring up in your discussions and the documentation you provide. The more organized you are recording your expenses and income the less opportunity for errors or that something is missed.
To help you keep your books organized, some tax professional also provide bookkeeping services. Some will even come to your home and take care of that mountain of paperwork right at your kitchen table.
If you choose to manage your own bookkeeping, be sure to get the latest accounting software. With some software, such as Kashoo, you can even do your bookkeeping on your iPad or mobile phone.
4. Don't make assumptions.
Tax rules are complex and ever-changing. In fact, at last count, the Canadian tax code weighed in at well over 3,000 pages.
Making an assumption that a rule has or hasn't changed is one of the chief causes of paying more tax. Don’t assume.
If you have chosen your tax professional well, you can be confident that they are on top of the latest tax rules and can recommend the best course of action for your business.
5. Consult with your tax professional before making any business decisions.
A good tax professional should provide tax planning.
Tax planning can advise you on the best way to structure your affairs so you can minimize tax while still achieving your goals. There are actions that can be taken and deadlines that if missed could prevent you from taking advantage of certain credits and grants.
Having a tax professional working for you year-around gives you an expert to consult with before making critical decisions.
We love tax accountants!
We appreciate and refer leads to them all of the time. But only the ones that prepare tax returns and related documents and stay out of day-to-day bookkeeping.
The same goes for bookkeeping firms. We provide Construction Bookkeeping services to contractors all across the USA including Alaska and Hawaii and our clients ask us about preparing annual tax returns and we suggest they find a tax accountant.
We have a list of tax accountants in several states that we refer clients too and can always use more. We refer the tax work, provide a copy of QuickBooks (with our client's permission) and input the tax accountant's adjusting journal entries when they are ready.
If you only prepare tax returns and are interested in being our referral list please contact me.
Randal DeHart | Outsourced Construction Accounting Specialist
Your first tax accountant will initially handle nearly all taxes. I say nearly all because I imagine payroll taxes will be handled by whoever has been handling payroll to date, but you might want to give that some thought. Also, you might want to think about who handles payroll tax problems and issues. Oftentimes, the person doing HR is not equipped to do this and doesn't like it so I would toss that over to the "tax person" who frankly I would call the Tax Manager.
First off, they track all deadlines, one thinks of the annual deadlines, but for a company, there are quarterly, monthly, and weekly deadlines. In addition to payroll and corporate taxes, there are sales and use, there are property and franchise taxes, all sorts of silly little taxes that everyone wants you to pay.
Finally, there are audits that will crop up. You need to decide if your person if preparing the corporate taxes or overseeing an outside CPA firm.