How to become a Tax Consultant


The profession of a tax consultant is an attractive one for individuals who are good communicators, out-of-the-box thinkers, creative, with an interest in income tax laws and the current market scenario. Find out the steps to become a tax consultant.

The career of a tax consultant is an attractive career open to law graduates or individuals who have professional qualifications like CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Tax consultants are experts in the country's tax laws. They are, in general, financial experts with advanced training and knowledge of tax laws. They advise individuals about tax laws and penalties, help them minimise tax, help them prepare documents for submission to the Internal Revenue Service and coordinate with tax authorities.

Eligibility for the career


There are no set qualifications to become a tax advisor or tax consultant. There are only recommendations based on the path chosen by successful individuals in the field. In order to become a tax consultant, many individuals choose to study a postgraduate course on the subject of Taxation. Many law graduates choose to take up a PG in Taxation to join this profession.



Another option is to take the Certified Public Accountant course, which is offered by the CPA Council. Anyone with a pass in Bachelor's Degree from a recognised university can take up a CPA course.

After course completion and practical experience, the individual can find jobs with companies, industries, businesses etc. Tax consultants help companies understand their tax liabilities at the state, local and global levels as well. They may also help with tax planning. Most consultants prefer to run their private practice since earnings are higher.

Steps in the journey


Students who have made up their minds to pursue a career in tax consultation should earn a graduation in Finance, Commerce, Taxation or a related field. This is to ensure they have a sound knowledge of the subject. After graduation, the graduate should go on to pursue a post-graduation in their chosen field, again to hone more knowledge.

Alternatively, they can take up the CPA program followed by hands-on experience in tax laws and practice. After completing their courses, individuals can either start their own private practice or look for a job in private or public sector companies.

Who can become a tax consultant?


There are certain personal and professional skills that are helpful in a tax consultant's profession. For example, a tax consultant should be a good communicator and also have the ability to think out of the box. Of course, knowledge and understanding of the current market scenario and the taxation sector are also essential.

In the end, income tax lawyers are more adept at handling complex tax disputes for companies and individuals. Tax preparers, on the other hand, may or may not have a degree in law. A tax consultant may specialise further in areas like indirect tax litigation and advisory, income tax and sales tax advisory and compliance and other specialisations.

Therefore, to be able to serve as a tax consultant, individuals must have in-depth knowledge of the prevailing tax laws. Tax laws keep changing, every fiscal year and tax consultants must keep abreast with the new laws by reading the rules, notifications, circulars and announcements etcetera, issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Tax.

Tax consultants should be masters at their job and work within the ambit of the law to help reduce their clients' tax liabilities, by proper tax planning. This is where experience comes in handy. Individuals who have experience working with skilled professionals such as Chartered Accountants (CA), Cost Accountants or Company Secretaries or other tax consultants find themselves better acquainted in the field and are hence able to do well in the industry.

The requirements (though not mandatory) to become a successful tax consultant can be broken down into the following categories –

Qualification:


A degree in law or B.Com

Experience:


Work experience as a Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant or Company Secretary

Skill:


  • Expert knowledge on relevant taxation rules and laws
  • Adept at minimising tax liabilities of clients under the legal framework
  • Excellent interpretation skill
  • Integrity :Should be honest in practices and safeguard the clients interest

Tax Return Prepare Scheme


In addition to the above individuals interested in pursuing a career as tax consultants can opt for the Tax Return Prepare Scheme (TRPS), launched by the Income Tax Department. The scheme is designed to coach and train individual's in taxation procedures and make them eligible to work as independent Tax return preparers.

Eligibility for TRPS


Individuals aged between 21 and 35 can apply for this scheme. They must also possess a bachelor's degree in any of the following disciplines from a recognised university –
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Commerce
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics

Find more details here - Eligibility criteria for TRPS

How to become a Tax Return Preparer


The Income Tax Department periodically advertises applications for fresh schedules, in leading dailies. For further information regarding the TRPS, visit the About Us Page of TRPS

Should you become a tax consultant?


If you think you will enjoy going in and out of courts, handling complex tax issues, thinking laterally to come up with creative solutions to tax problems, or preparing innovative tax structures for your clients and helping them with financial planning, this is a career for you.

The first year after graduation is often the most difficult for young tax lawyers or CPAs when they are learning the ropes. But it is also an important year to decide if you have the endurance to become a professional lawyer.



Overall, the profession of a tax consultant benefits from skills in problem-solving, negotiation, reasoning and critical thinking. It is also helpful to have writing and research skills. If you think this profile suits you, go ahead and plan your career as a tax consultant.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 458 articles authored by Juana

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