How to Become a Tax Consultant: Advice from the Pros

Tax consultants are important members of the financial services industry. With their expertise, they help businesses and individuals navigate the complicated legal and financial issues associated with filing taxes and compliance with the Canada Revenue Agency. Becoming a successful tax consultant requires extensive knowledge, experience and dedication. But with the right advice and guidance, anyone can become an expert in the field. Here, we offer 10 tips from seasoned tax consultants on how to succeed in this highly sought-after profession. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to advance your career, this advice will help you stay ahead of the competition and become the best tax consultant you can be.

how to become a tax consultant

Develop a deep understanding of tax law

It is critical that tax consultants have a thorough understanding of tax law. This is the foundation of their work — the knowledge that’s used to determine the best filing strategy for each client. If you don’t know the ins and outs of the Canadian Income Tax Act, you’ll have trouble providing sound recommendations and advice. Tax laws in Canada are very complex, so you’ll need to spend time studying these regulations and understanding how they apply to specific situations. You’ll also need to stay up-to-date on changes to tax law, as new laws are passed each year and are often complex. It’s never too soon to start studying for the next tax season.

Can anyone just read the Canada Income Tax Act and become an expert?

Not likely! There will always be a few super intelligent people who could pull it off but, for the average person, having a two-year account diploma, and accounting degree, or being a CPA are almost essential. Here are three places that can help get you a relevant credential to become a tax consultant:

  1. The Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) certification program
  2. An accounting degree from the University of Calgary
  3. An accounting certificate from SAIT

Keep in mind, a piece of paper doesn’t mage you a good tax consultant, but it’s a start. Also, “doing taxes” is not the same as traditional “accounting.”

Even after you get a great credential like CPA, how would you then answer a question about tax relief in Canada? You may thing running to will give you all the answers you need. Here’s a practical tip to becoming a tax relief expert – once you have some accounting credentials, go to work for a tax consultant like Cawston & Associates in Calgary, Alberta. Working for the CRA is another way to get practical tax consultant experience.

Understand the tax filing process

Tax consultants need to know how the tax filing process works, including how to file taxes with each state and federal agency. They need to understand how each type of tax return differs, which schedules are required and how to calculate the figures needed to complete each form. Tax consulting requires a deep knowledge of the CRA rules and regulations. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to help your clients navigate the often confusing and frustrating tax filing process.

Stay up-to-date on tax law changes

The tax code is complex, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on tax law changes. Knowing how recent changes have affected the filing process will help you make better recommendations for your clients. It will also help you identify areas of your practice where you can improve and refine your skills. Tax consulting is a competitive field, so staying up-to-date on tax law changes will give you an edge over other consultants and make you more valuable to clients.

Build relationships with clients

Clients are the ultimate decision-makers when it comes to hiring a tax consultant. They have to trust you and feel confident in your ability to provide solutions for their financial issues. You should also be able to communicate effectively with clients, explaining complex tax laws in a way they can understand. Tax consultants who build strong relationships with clients are more likely to be hired again. They are also more likely to receive positive referrals, which can lead to new business. Building strong relationships is key to success in this field; it can help you build trust and secure repeat business.

Utilize technology to streamline processes

Tax consultants work with all types of clients, including individuals and businesses, so there are many different types of clients and situations to navigate. In many cases, the processes and procedures you follow with one type of client will differ from another. This can lead to a cluttered and inefficient workflow. Utilizing technology, such as computer software, can help eliminate unnecessary steps, streamline your workflow and make your processes more consistent. This, in turn, will allow you to provide better service to clients, which will lead to more referrals.

Develop a specialization

Tax consultants have expertise in various areas of the tax code, which means they can help a wide range of clients. But having a specialization can help you stand out from the competition. It can also help you decide which types of clients to focus on. Specializations can range from specific industries to types of tax returns, such as income and gift tax. Developing a specialization will help you become a recognized expert and increase your visibility in the industry. It will also help you better identify the best clients to work with.

Become a trusted advisor

Tax consultants are experts in the field and can help businesses and individuals with their tax planning strategies. But you need to demonstrate that you are a trusted advisor to earn the title. That means you have to be honest, reliable and trustworthy. It also means you have to be sensitive to the needs of your clients. Most importantly, it means you have to be able to communicate clearly. You need to be able to explain tax laws in a way that’s easy to understand, while still maintaining your level of expertise and professionalism.

Maintain a professional image

The image you present to clients and potential clients plays an important role in your success as a tax consultant. This includes how you dress, your choice of business cards, your website and how you present yourself in general. Put thought into how you want to position yourself in the industry, and then make the necessary changes to make it happen. This will help you stand out from the competition and build trust with clients.

Invest in continuing education

Tax laws, regulations and filing processes are always changing, so it’s critical that tax consultants stay up-to-date with the latest changes. Doing so will help you provide better service to clients and identify ways to improve your business. It will also help you advance your career, earn more and improve your earning potential over time. There are many ways to stay up-to-date, including online courses, in-person seminars and webinars. Choose a variety of options to find the best fit for your learning style.

Join a professional organization

Tax consultants can benefit greatly from membership in a professional organization, such as the Canada Tax Payers Federation. These organizations provide valuable resources, tools and information to help members succeed in the profession. They also offer networking opportunities, which can lead to new business. Joining one of these organizations will help you stay current on tax law changes and provide you with the resources you need to succeed.