What Are Tax Accountant Responsibilities? (With Skills)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Tax accountants are finance professionals who assist individuals and enterprises in filing their taxes appropriately. They often possess an in-depth understanding of state, national and international tax policies and utilise that knowledge to make the best use of allowances and maximise tax refunds. Learning about the role and understanding the responsibilities it entails can help you decide if it is the right career path for you. In this article, we define tax accountant responsibilities, list some skills that tax accountants may possess and share their likely work environment and educational background.

Tax Accountant Responsibilities

Tax accountant responsibilities are the varied tasks that tax accountants routinely accomplish. A significant part of the role is to study financial documents and prepare the appropriate tax returns. Tax accountants help their clients to abide by tax laws and complete tax forms correctly. They are detail-oriented professionals who methodically evaluate the finances of an individual or a company to suggest beneficial tax strategies. They utilise their analytical skills to periodically prepare tax reports and may also oversee outsourced tax preparation operations.

Related: What Does A Chartered Accountant Do? Duties And Career Path

Key Roles And Responsibilities For Tax Accountants

Below is a list of key responsibilities a tax accountant may have:

  • Managing clients: Tax accountants may work with many clients simultaneously to ensure they properly handle their taxes and file them on time. Addressing client queries and mitigating their concerns are aspects of good client management that may help them to foster trust and confidence in their services.

  • Calculating taxes and submitting payments: There are many enterprises or business owners who prefer outsourcing the calculation of tax payments to tax accountants who can assess clients’ financial documents and submit tax returns to the relevant authorities.

  • Leading audits: To manage their books well, companies regularly perform tax audits. They may hire tax accountants to review their accounts and determine if the details are correct.

  • Liaising with tax authorities: Tax authorities may investigate the past tax reports of an individual or company. A tax accountant can communicate with tax officials to answer questions about late or missing payments and resolve outstanding issues.

  • Resolving tax disputes: If there is a dispute related to tax evasion, a tax accountant can resolve it by producing a clarification and informing authorities how their client has observed relevant tax laws.

  • Minimising taxes: Some businesses prefer to keep their assets in offshore companies to minimise their tax obligations. Tax accountants utilise legal tools that can help their clients to reduce the taxes on their income or profits.

  • Helping clients find tax accountants in different jurisdictions: Some companies may operate in multiple jurisdictions, which can be another state or a different country. In such cases, one tax accountant may help their client to find another tax accountant who is well-informed about the tax laws and policies of a specific location.

  • Updating clients with the latest tax policies: Governments often amend their tax laws and regulations, and it is the responsibility of tax accountants to remain up to date on them. They can create concise summaries of tax revisions for their clients to help them understand how a new law might affect their business.

  • Networking: Networking allows tax consultants to establish connections with new clients, grow their business and improve their brand. With networking, a tax accountant may also increase the visibility of their services in the market and create long-term personal connections.

Related: Accountant Roles And Responsibilities: A Complete Guide

Tax Accountant Skills

Among the many skills that a successful tax accountant may regularly employ are the following:

Technical skills

To gain technical knowledge and better understand accounting principles, you may pursue a degree in finance or tax. Relevant educational qualifications can help show clients that you possess the technical skills to prepare tax provision schedules or maintain a tax database. Tax accountants are usually proficient in mathematics and able to perform complex calculations. Their technical skills also include studying and understanding various tax laws, regulations and policies.

Related: How To Become A Tax Consultant: Skills, Education And Salary

Research skills

The tax laws of a state or country can change often. When that happens, a tax accountant ensures that they know what the amendments are and how they might affect the taxation of an individual or business. You can conduct research to stay current with all legal developments, and if any amendment remains unclear, you can use research to help interpret it. If a government implements a law that takes inspiration from another country, you may research how that country implements it and what the future implications might be for your clients.

You can also use research skills to fully understand your client’s work and tax background. That may include finding out applicable tax slabs, how competitors use taxation to minimise tax payments or what tax benefits a government provides to individuals or business owners. With that knowledge, you can form more accurate conclusions regarding the allocation of expenses and assets.

Related: Essential Research Skills (With Benefits And How To Improve)

Communication skills

A tax accountant utilises their communication skills regularly to interact with clients and to help them easily navigate tax laws. You can simplify technical details for your clients, provide information and advice and liaise with tax authorities on their behalf. As an articulate tax accountant, you can create a business environment that is free of confusion and doubts. Clients may admire this quality and recommend you to others, which can help you to grow your practice.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

Teamwork skills

As a tax accountant working in an office setup, you may collaborate with other professionals. It can be beneficial to be a good team player who works cordially with others to achieve shared goals. You may also focus better when you can resolve interpersonal issues amicably. By employing such skills, you can ensure an inclusive work environment that considers the inputs of all team members. Effective team players maintain respectful communication and build strong relationships. Teamwork is also a leadership skill with which you can help others accomplish their career goals.

Related: Examples Of Teamwork Skills (And How To Improve Them)

Problem-solving skills

Tax accountants may encounter unexpected situations, such as inaccurate financial reports that require urgent modification before submission or tax plans that require complete rewriting to align with changes in tax laws. Problem-solving skills can help you determine the source of a problem and devise an effective solution. A competent tax accountant can solve issues by remaining creative in their thinking. For instance, to minimise the amount of tax a client pays to authorities, you might use taxation tools to find a clever solution, such as trusts or tax-free investments.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions And Examples

Organisational skills

The job of a tax accountant can be challenging sometimes. To minimise stress and complete work on time, you can use your organisational skills to prioritise tasks and take responsibility for your workload. These skills help tax accountants structure their routine responsibilities and remain systematic. Planned work habits can allow you to be methodical and stay productive when working on important documents. With strategic planning, you can organise your work by delegating tasks to others. This can help you feel more in control and ensure that the right people do the right tasks.

Related: What Are Organisation Skills? (Plus How To Improve Them)

Tax Accountant Work Requirements And Environment

Possessing extensive financial and taxation knowledge helps tax accountants to complete their work efficiently. To work and excel in the position, you can pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting. While some organisations give preference to candidates who have secured a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, others may ask for a post-graduate degree. Apart from soft and hard skills, you may be more likely to succeed as a tax accountant when you secure certifications from recognised institutions, as those credentials may demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the field.

Tax accountants may work with individuals or organisations. Working with corporations typically means working in an office with others. You could also work as a consultant, which means you may work from anywhere, although you might meet with clients occasionally to discuss important details or issues. The job involves using a computer every day to calculate tax rates and other allocations with software tools. Tax accountants typically have a 40-hour working week, but the amount you work may increase during the closing of an accounting period.

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