Tax advisers/consultants are the experts in providing commercially-focused tax advice and tax services to a wide range of clients who operate in all sectors of the economy. This involves devising tax-efficient strategies for multinational and domestic based clients in diverse business situations, including mergers, takeovers and corporate reconstructions. Tax consultants work continually to help ensure that their clients make the best business decisions in the light of fiscal change and development. They monitor and anticipate changes to tax legislation and respond quickly with advice specific to their clients’ particular commercial requirements.
Tax consultants are recruited by major taxation and accountancy firms, financial institutions, major legal firms, multinational corporations and many government departments.
When you first join you will probably have an induction programme which will provide you with an insight into how you deal with clients as well as the technical knowledge that you will need to develop your professional career. You will initially be a junio member of a team and will learn from your senior team-mates, or perhaps a 'mentor' will be assigned to help you in your early days. You will be given exposure to dealing with both clients and colleagues – possibly colleagues from overseas firms as well if your client is a multinational and has issues across several countries. As your level of knowledge and experience increases you will be given greater exposure and responsibility when dealing with clients.
- Helping businesses and individuals create strategies for dealing with tax and prepare for their future in the financial market
- Advising and consulting with clients in order to provide advice about tax legislation, eg ensuring businesses and assets are properly structured to minimise the incidence of taxation
- Advising on employee incentivisation schemes, eg share options, share ownership trusts, tax-efficient employee benefits and the creation of employee benefit trusts
- Advising on aspects of property transactions, including acquisitions of foreign property, and the use of tax-efficient structures in property deals, including the effective use of partnerships and co-ownership structures
- Calculating tax liability, ensuring compliance is completed speedily and efficiently, and submitting tax returns and associated documents by the appropriate deadlines.
Most of the major accounting firms will have a specialist tax consulting division. It is here that new graduates would be taken into a tax consulting team and assigned a mentor. You will receive formal training in preparation for the three-year Associateship of the Irish Tax Institute (AITI) exams (see www.taxinstitute.ie) and you will also learn on the job from your senior colleagues. In some firms, the tax exams may sometimes be taken alongside or after taking the Chartered Accountants in Ireland exams.
Skills and qualities
A career as a tax consultant will suit those people who enjoy constantly researching and analysing problems, enjoy being an ‘expert’ in their field and have an ability to communicate complex pieces of information in a simple and easily understood manner. You will also be dealing with quite senior clients so a certain maturity, confidence and ability to get on with people of all levels will also be required.