In the financial industry, you'll find many roles, most of which revolve around accounting and taxes. As such, tax agents and accountants may be the two job positions that you may have heard of, and while you might think that they're both the same person, they're not actually precisely the same. Tax accountants and tax agents are two different roles, and both fill a special need in the financial world.
That said, if you want to learn more about how these two positions are different, let's talk about that:
What Is an Accountant?
Accountants are financial professionals who do everything from maintaining the books of a company to preparing taxes for a client. Accountants need to know about taxes, business law, and how to handle numbers. Accountants also assist clients in making decisions about their finances and their business.
Overall, they're tasked with planning ahead and keeping the company's finances in good shape.
What Is a Tax Agent?
Tax agents are tax specialists. They're the go-to source for citizens who need to complete and file their taxes. They provide extra services to clients beyond just tax filing and preparation, such as offering tax planning for individuals and businesses, as well as helping clients with preparing their taxes for the next year.
What Are the Main Differences?
While there are many similarities between accountants and tax agents, there are some key differences, too.
First of all, accountants and tax agents are not the same jobs. In fact, a tax agent is someone who works on behalf of a tax accountant and assists them in filing taxes for clients.
Another key difference is that accountants tend to be more high-level. They deal with the big picture and are mainly focused on developing a company's financial strategy. Tax agents, on the other hand, tend to be more hands-on. Their work with clients is to prepare taxes, as well as offer added services to their clients on a year-to-year basis.
Finally, you'll also notice that tax agents are more common in smaller towns. That's because they work a variety of different cases, either due to a town's smaller population or because they are doing additional work for accountants in larger cities.
What Skills Do They Need?
It's important to know that while both of these positions are important, they're going to require different skills and abilities.
For instance, accountants need to be good at math, and they need to be able to work with and prioritise numbers. They should also have a good sense of business, as well as an understanding of corporate law. They should be able to create financial projections and make sure that these projections are accurate and that the steps that need to be taken to reach the projections are there.
Tax agents, on the other hand, need to have good communication skills, as well as a good head for numbers. They should also be organised and be able to plan ahead. They need to know the laws surrounding taxes and the way that taxes should be handled, and they should be able to remain calm and precise when communicating with clients.
There's much more to these two positions than what we're able to fit into this article, but we're hoping that this goes a long way toward helping you understand the differences between the two.
As you can see, these two positions fill very specific needs in the financial world, and you'll see them used in a variety of different industries. That said, if you are looking to work with accountants or tax agents, then it is vital that you understand your needs thoroughly to ensure you hire the right professional for your business!
The ECommerce Accountant offers business advisory for online stores and influencers. If you need help understanding whether you need an accountant or a tax agent for your business, reach out to us today!