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Tax Advisor

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A tax advisor is a specialist that offers tax expertise and guidance to individuals and businesses. A tax advisor can simply prepare and file taxes for a taxpayer (i.e. tax preparer) or a tax advisor can provide customized advice in complex financial situations to minimize taxes, while complying with tax laws (i.e. maximizing deduction, minimizing estate taxes, etc.). Finally, a tax advisor can represent taxpayers during IRS audits or other tax related disputes. A tax advisor is not required to be licensed by the IRS, but must follow strict IRS standards. Treasury Department Circular 230 details the best practices that must be followed by a tax advisor. Failure to comply can result in penalties and disciplinary actions. Although no licensing or legal certification is required if the tax advisor limits its service to tax preparation, a tax advisor is usually required to hold credentials, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), enrolled agent (EA), or tax lawyer. Further, licensing is also required if the tax advisor sells insurance policies, real estate, investments or other financial products.

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