Accountants and Tax Agents - Who Are They and What Can They Do For You?

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Accountants and tax agents are often mentioned side by side. In fact, people are so confused between the terms accountants and tax agents that they often interchange them.


It is true that both accountants and tax agents have to do with the client’s professional life and taxation, yet there are slight differences between them. For an average person the difference between accountants and tax agents might not matter much but if you are in the corporate world the subtle difference can be important.  


What is the difference between accountants and tax agents?


People often wonder that if both accountants and tax agents have to deal with taxation, then why devise the two names and why do some people hire accountants while others go for tax agents? So in this section, we are going to learn about the differences between accountants and tax agents.

Basically, if people need to have their tax returns lodged then they would hire tax agents. However accountants are needed if you are running a corporate business and you wish to seek advice on how to maximise returns while minimising tax.


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Tax Agents Look at the Past while Accountants look at the future


Hence, it shows that tax agents are needed merely when tax records have to be straightened out but accountants are needed to gain guidance about how tax should be handled in the future.

Putting this information in other words, you can assume that tax agents look at the past tax records, straighten them out and file forms to satisfy all kinds of legal requirements. Whereas  an accountant looks at the future and the taxes that are going to be filed. Unlike tax agents, accountants study the complete financial picture of their clients and then provide valuable advice on how to increase income while keeping future taxes to the minimum.


Why it is Important to Understand the Difference between Accountants and Tax Agents?


The difference between accountants and tax agents must be clear to you so that you can hire the right person for your task. In fact, you must first be very clear about the task for which you are about to hire either an accountant or tax agent.

In this time of financial crunch, every single decision counts and can either cost you money or help you make more. It doesn’t matter whether you have just started a business or have been in business for a long time; you can still benefit from hiring either accountants or tax agents.

As mentioned earlier, tax agents merely do the book keeping of old tax records, whereas accountants gauge the future based on old tax records and present financial situation. Therefore, you can only hire the right person for yourself if you understand the difference between accountants and tax agents.