Accountant and Tax Advisor - differences

Currently, both accountants and tax advisers can provide tax services.Tax advisors may issue written opinions and refer tax authorities to courts. It should be noted that although these two professions may be called related in the labor market, they are actually different and each requires an appropriate level of training and competence. Accountants make entries, prepare balance sheets and income statements, declarations. They try to monitor various changes in regulations on an ongoing basis, but are not always able to provide an exhaustive answer, because they have different competences than tax advisors, and an experienced accountant not only takes part in a detailed analysis of the financial and economic condition of the company, but can also conduct tax planning and provide a manager with valuable tax advice. At the same time, however, the accountant will not be liable as a tax advisor. In practice, an accountant may take out insurance, preferring to pay higher taxes, which can lead to both lost opportunities for the company due to an unjustified outflow of funds and additional work by tax inspectorates to repay overpaid amounts.

A tax advisor, unlike an accountant, gives opinions and explains how to interpret tax regulations. It can simulate different business process development scenarios and perform calculations for different options to optimize taxation.

What is the duty of a tax advisor

  1. Explain to the owner the nuances of tax regulations and their impact on profits.
  2. Preparation of reports and analytical documents regarding the current situation in tax law.
  3. Tax planning for specific periods, both short-term and long-term.
  4. Optimization of tax expenditures to improve the company’s efficiency.
  5. Legal examination of tax documents.
  6. Representing the company’s interests before tax authorities, as well as before the court and, if necessary, law enforcement authorities.

Who can become a tax advisor

Due to the specificity of the profession, in order to successfully work as a tax advisor in Poland, you need higher education, at least a bachelor’s degree. As a rule, the field of study does not matter, but you will need to pass a difficult exam for a tax advisor at the Ministry of Finance, which consists of a written and oral part, as well as a minimum of six months of professional practice (up to two years). The tax advisor then receives a license.

The main differences

The main differences in the professional skills of an accountant and tax advisor are:

  • Knowledge of accounting and tax accounting – theoretically, both of them should know, but in practice the accountant knows only those accounting departments that are used within the applied methodology; a wider range of problems she is struggling with
  • Tax and accounting organization – the accountant mainly deals with current accounting, and the adviser’s task is to determine it
  • Problem solving in the course of accounting – if the accountant cannot solve the problem on his own as part of accounting, he uses the help of an advisor
  • Knowledge of accounting programs – an accountant usually knows fewer accounting programs. The consultant must be familiar with the accounting mechanisms of all the programs he deals with in practice, because: he will then have to register for the program, conduct ongoing consultations and create regulated reports.

Who should be hired

If you are the owner of a large business, this dilemma should not arise, because in this case, the best option is to hire both specialists. The accountant will be responsible for keeping the books, records and other accounting records that are necessary for reporting to the tax authorities. The tax advisor will be able to periodically support you in more detailed and important issues of the company’s further development strategy.

Bearing in mind all of the above issues, Progress Holding is ready to offer you the services of specialists from both professions who are in our staff. If you have any questions or need advice, write to us at office@progressholding.pl.

Accountant and Tax Advisor – differences

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