What is a "tax advisor"?

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What is a "tax advisor"?

Postby boggler » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:52 pm

I see the term "tax advisor" all the time. "Consult your tax advisor", etc. Does this mean a CPA, a financial advisor, or a tax attorney?

Never having retained an accountant, I'm not sure who I should look for to ask tax questions.
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Re: What is a "tax advisor"?

Postby CABob » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:22 am

I think it could refer to anyone of the three. Used generically I think it would refer to whoever you seek to get qualified tax advice. The majority of people do not use a tax attorney other than perhaps for very complex business issues. It might be a financial advisor but not in all cases. Many financial advisors are not particularly qualified to address complex tax issues. In most cases it would be a CPA or even your local H&R Block representative.
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Re: What is a "tax advisor"?

Postby SeattleCPA » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:19 am

I think the term simply means what it says... someone who advises you about your taxes.

That's not a very helpful answer or response, though, so let me try to throw out a couple three additional comments.

First, you might be interested in who you can employ or hire to represent you before the IRS... and the simple answer to this question is an attorney can, a CPA can and an enrolled agent can. For more detailed information about this (including exceptions to this generalization), you can refer to circular 230 available here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/pcir230.pdf

Second, a CPA or attorney doesn't necessarily possess specialist or expert knowledge in taxes. Lots of attorneys and CPAs (maybe most?) specialize in an area other than tax accounting or tax law. Enrolled agents, in contrast, should usually be tax specialists since that's their own deal. I would say therefore that you want a tax attorney or tax CPA or EA giving you advice.

Third, though circular 230 which is a pretty authoritative document says that only attorneys can practice law (see paragraph 10.31) , I think as a practical matter everybody agrees that you can get tax law advice not only from an attorney but also from a CPA and EA. See paragraph 10.32 for example. BTW I tried to find the joint statement of the American Bar Association and American Institute of CPAs that I think exists... but could not locate that. (Heck... some CPAs and EAs can represent you before the tax court.)

Hope that helps.

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Re: What is a "tax advisor"?

Postby Default User BR » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:18 am

boggler wrote:I see the term "tax advisor" all the time. "Consult your tax advisor", etc. Does this mean a CPA, a financial advisor, or a tax attorney?

It means, "not us".


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Re: What is a "tax advisor"?

Postby CABob » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:39 pm

I think that the intended meaning on the part of the person or organization using the term is that they are providing some information that might have some tax consequences and are making it clear that they are not providing tax advice and if you need such advice you should look elsewhere.

Edit to correct wrong word used.
Last edited by CABob on Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is a "tax advisor"?

Postby boggler » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:59 pm

CABob wrote:I think that the intended meeting on the part of the person or organization using the term is that they are providing some information that might have some tax consequences and are making it clear that they are not providing tax advice and if you need such advice you should look elsewhere.


Yeah, sounds about right.

Who do you look to when someone says this to you?
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Re: What is a "tax advisor"?

Postby jdilla1107 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:23 pm

Who do you look to when someone says this to you?


Google
Here
Irs website

Understanding tax implications and personal finance can make some serious extra money over a lifetime.
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Re: What is a "tax advisor"?

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:48 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (advisor).
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