Accountants and tax agents both work to help their clients with their financial needs. While they may be able to handle many of the same tasks, they are very different in their skill sets. While accountants focus on strategy, tax agents focus on compliance. Certified public accountants are more legally empowered to represent their clients before the IRS. Whether you need basic accounting assistance or complex consulting, an accountant will be able to help you find the right solution for your situation.
Accountants are strategists
To successfully run an accounting or tax practice, it is important to develop a detailed product strategy plan. This long-term plan is a guide for the development of services and response to competition. Accountants and tax agents should understand their target audience, identify their target market and plan accordingly.
When starting a new accounting firm, it is important to identify your target customers’ most pressing needs. This is often accomplished by conducting surveys and interviews. For instance, a new firm may target small businesses that need accounting or tax services.
Tax agents are compliance experts
A tax agent is an expert in a wide variety of tax issues. They are responsible for ensuring that businesses and individuals comply with the tax laws. As such, they play a vital role in the financial health of America. They are employed by the IRS and have a set 40-hour workweek. The position also offers excellent federal benefits, including tuition assistance, comprehensive healthcare, a portable retirement plan, and a flexible spending account.
Typically, tax agents are college-educated accounting majors. These agents must complete at least six semester hours of accounting courses and pass an accounting proficiency test. As a result, these professionals typically hold a GS-5/7/GS-9 career ladder. They can begin as a grade five tax agent and advance to grade nine without competition, or compete with others for higher grades. The job also offers diverse career paths, best-in-class learning opportunities, and opportunities to expand your talents and expertise.
Enrolled agents have unlimited practice rights before the IRS
Enrolled agents are federally licensed professionals who have unlimited practice rights before the IRS. These professionals are skilled at helping individuals and businesses with all types of tax problems. Their services include tax audits, collections, and appeals. They are the only professionals in the nation that dedicate their entire practice to tax issues and must maintain a high level of competency in federal tax law.
Enrolled agents are licensed by the federal government and must meet certain ethical standards. While attorneys and CPAs are licensed by the states, enrolled agents are federally licensed, making them eligible to practice anywhere in the United States.
Certified public accountants have more legal authority to represent clients before the IRS
Attorneys enrolled agents, and certified public accountants all have the legal authority to represent their clients before the IRS. These professionals are required to undergo special training in tax law and federal tax preparation and planning, and they are subject to continuing education requirements and ethical guidelines. In addition to preparing and filing tax returns, accountants also assist clients with business transactions and provide expert testimony in legal proceedings.
Tax appeals are often filed by individuals or businesses. These appeals may involve sales, property, payroll, or corporate business taxes. Generally, the Internal Revenue Service works within a set time period. The IRS is also able to take action against disreputable, fraudulent, or incompetent tax practitioners.