Tax advisor

A tax advisor


Tax advisors use their expertise in tax legislation to provide commercially focused advisory and consultancy services to a wide range of clients from all economic sectors. They explain complicated tax-related legislation to their clients and assist them in ensuring the most efficient and beneficial payment of taxes by devising tax-efficient strategies. They also inform them of fiscal changes and developments and may specialise in tax strategies concerning mergers or multinational reconstruction for business clients, trust and estate taxes for individual clients, etc.

Tax advisors typically do the following tasks:

  • Assess clients’ financial situations, business activities, and investment portfolios to determine their tax implications.
  • Provide personalized tax planning strategies to minimize tax liabilities and maximize tax savings.
  • Stay updated on changes in tax laws, regulations, and codes at local, state, and national levels.
  • Assist clients in understanding their tax obligations and preparing accurate tax returns.
  • Ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations while identifying legal avenues for tax reduction.
  • Offer advice on tax-efficient investment strategies, retirement planning, and estate planning.
  • Analyze financial data to identify opportunities for tax deductions, credits, and exemptions.
  • Provide guidance on structuring business transactions and operations to optimize tax outcomes.
  • Assist clients with tax audits, representing their interests, and advocating for fair assessments.
  • Advise on international tax matters, including cross-border transactions and expatriate tax issues.
  • Help clients navigate complex tax-related challenges, such as mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring.
  • Collaborate with legal professionals and financial advisors to develop comprehensive strategies.
  • Offer guidance on tax implications of charitable donations and philanthropic activities.
  • Provide insights into changes in tax regulations that may impact clients’ financial decisions.
  • Assist clients in understanding and complying with reporting requirements for foreign assets.
  • Stay informed about tax credits and incentives available for specific industries or activities.
  • Keep accurate records of client interactions, advice given, and relevant financial information.
  • Educate clients on their rights and responsibilities in relation to taxation.
  • Offer year-round support to clients, addressing their tax concerns and queries.
  • Maintain the confidentiality and integrity of clients’ financial information.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to tax advisor:

fiscal advisor
tax specialist
tax adviser
tax advisors
corporate tax preparer
tax evaluator
tax consultant
chartered tax adviser
licensed tax consultant
tax examiner
tax expert
tax preparer

Working conditions

Tax advisors often work in office settings, either independently or as part of tax consulting firms, accounting firms, or financial advisory firms. They may have seasonal fluctuations in workload, with peak demand during tax filing periods. The role requires attention to detail, analytical skills, and effective communication with clients and relevant authorities.

Minimum qualifications

To become a tax advisor, individuals typically need a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Many tax advisors also pursue advanced degrees or certifications, such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) certification, or Enrolled Agent (EA) status. Relevant work experience in accounting, taxation, or financial advisory services is important for building expertise.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Tax advisor is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Tax advisor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to tax advisor.

financial fraud examiner
audit supervisor
financial auditor
legal consultant

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of tax advisor.

  • Value-added tax law: Taxes imposed on the purchase prices of goods and the legislation that governs this activity.
  • Tax legislation: Tax legislation applicable to a specific area of specialisation, such as import tax, government tax, etc.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of tax advisor.

  • Inform on fiscal duties: Inform organisations and individuals on their specific fiscal duties and the legislation and regulations involving fiscal processes, such as tax duties.
  • Advise on tax planning: Advise on appropriate strategies to include taxes in the overall financial plan in order to reduce the tax load. Advise on questions related to tax legislation and provide advise on the possible implications that decisions in financial matters can cause in a tax declaration.. Advise on questions concerning things such as the creation of a company, investments, recruitments, or company successions.
  • Inspect tax returns: Inspect the documents that declare liability for taxation which is not automatically withheld from wages and salaries to ensure correct taxes are being paid by the liable individuals and organisations.
  • Prepare tax returns forms: Totalise all the deductible tax collected during the quarter or fiscal year in order to fill tax return forms and claim it back to the governmental authorities for declaring taxation liability. Keep the documents and records supporting the transaction.
  • Calculate tax: Calculate the taxes which have to be paid by an individual or organisation, or paid back by a governmental institution, compliant with specific legislation.
  • Research taxation procedures: Research the procedures which regulate taxation activities such as the procedures involved in the calculation of tax for organisations or individuals, the taxation handling and inspection process, and tax returns processes.
  • Interpret financial statements: Read, understand, and interpret the key lines and indicators in financial statements. Extract the most important information from financial statements depending on the needs and integrate this information in the development of the department’s plans.
  • Prepare financial statements: Collect, enter, and prepare the set of financial records disclosing the financial position of a company at the end of a certain period or accounting year. The financial statements consist of five parts which are the statement of financial position, the statement of comprehensive income, the statement of changes in equity (SOCE), the statement of cash flows and notes.
  • Manage personal finances: Identify personal financial objectives and set up a strategy to match this target in seeking support and advice when necessary.
  • Observe confidentiality: Observe the set of rules establishing the nondisclosure of information except to another authorised person.
  • Sign income tax returns: Revise, file, and act as a guarantee reference that the income tax returns are in order and according to the governmental requirements.
  • Advise on tax policy: Advise government officials on changes in tax policies and procedures and the implementation of new policies on a national and local level.
  • Disseminate information on tax legislation: Provide advice on the possible implications for companies or individuals on decisions regarding tax declaration based on tax legislation. Advise on the favourable tax strategies that could be followed depending on the needs of the client.
  • Inspect taxation documents: Inspect files and documentation dealing with taxation cases to ensure no faulty or fraudulent activity is present and to ensure the procedure is compliant with legislation.
  • Secure sensitive customer’s information: Select and apply security measures and regulations related to sensitive customer information with the aim of protecting their privacy.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of tax advisor. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Business management principles: Principles governing business management methods such as strategy planning, methods of efficient production, and people and resources coordination.
  • International financial reporting standards: The set of accounting standards and rules aimed at companies listed on the stock exchange that are required to publish and disclose their financial statements.
  • Fraud detection: The techniques used to identify fraudulent activities.
  • Cadastral taxation: The taxation legislation concerning real estate and real property’s metes-and-bounds of a community.
  • International taxation of transfer prices: The requirements and regulations of the transfer prices of goods and services between legal entities, especially in an international setting.
  • Accounting entries: The financial transactions recorded in accounting systems or books of a company together with the metadata linked to the entry such as the date, the amount, the accounts affected, and a description of the transaction.
  • Civil law: The legal rules and their applications used in disputes between different parties.
  • Legal department processes: The different processes, duties, jargon, role in an organisation, and other specificities of the legal department within an organisation such as patents, legal cases, and legal compliance.
  • Legal terminology: The special terms and phrases used in the field of law.
  • National generally accepted accounting principles: The accounting standard accepted in a region or country specifying the rules and procedures to disclose financial data.
  • Commercial law: The legal regulations that govern a specific commercial activity.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of tax advisor. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Compile legal documents: Compile and collect legal documents from a specific case in order to aid an investigation or for a court hearing in a manner compliant with legal regulations and ensuring records are properly maintained.
  • Negotiate in legal cases: Negotiate on the client’s behalf during the treatment of a legal case in order to obtain the most beneficial outcome for the client, and to ensure that all decisions are compliant with legal regulations.
  • Prepare financial auditing reports: Compile information on audit findings of financial statements and financial management in order to prepare reports, point out improvement possibilities, and confirm governability.
  • Manage payroll reports: Maintain personnel records as well as payroll reports. Record evaluations, promotions or disciplinary actions.
  • Use consulting techniques: Advise clients in different personal or professional matters.
  • Advise on financial matters: Consult, advise, and propose solutions with regard to financial management, such as acquiring new assets, incurring in investments, and tax efficiency methods.
  • Collect tax: Collect the amounts due to be paid to the government by organisations and individuals, following the regulations and correct calculation, ensuring no one pays more or less than they are obligated to.
  • Conduct financial audits: Evaluate and monitor the financial health, operations, and financial movements expressed in the financial statements of the company. Revise the financial records to ensure stewardship and governability.
  • Advise on efficiency improvements: Analyse information and details of processes and products in order to advise on possible efficiency improvements that could be implemented and would signify a better use of resources.
  • Advise on legal decisions: Advise judges or other officials in legal decision-making positions, on which decision would be right, compliant with the law and with moral considerations, or most advantageous for the adviser’s client in a specific case.
  • Develop taxation policies: Develop new policies dealing with taxation procedures based on prior research, which will improve the efficiency of the procedures and their influence on the optimisation of government revenue and expenditures, ensuring compliance with taxation legislation.
  • Check official documents: Check an individual’s official documentation, such as driver’s license and identification, to ensure compliance with legal regulations and to identify and assess individuals.
  • Provide legal advice: Provide advice to clients in order to ensure that their actions are compliant with the law, as well as most beneficial for their situation and specific case, such as providing information, documentation, or advice on the course of action for a client should they want to take legal action or legal action is taken against them.
  • Make strategic business decisions: Analyse business information and consult directors for decision-making purposes in a varied array of aspects affecting the prospect, productivity and sustainable operation of a company. Consider the options and alternatives to a challenge and make sound rational decisions based on analysis and experience.

ISCO group and title

2411 – Accountants

  1. Tax advisor – ESCO
  2. Tax Advisor: Who They Are, What They Do, Regulations – Investopedia
  3. Featured image: Photo by Mikhail Nilov
Last updated on August 28, 2023