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Love numbers? Be a tax consultant

Tax consultants help clients minimise their tax liability, prepare tax returns and help organisations during mergers and acquisitions

education Updated: Jul 28, 2016 13:36 IST
Rozelle Laha
Increased use of complex business models, approach and technologies is fuelling demand for consultants.
Increased use of complex business models, approach and technologies is fuelling demand for consultants.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Many companies in expansion mode require advice on how to set up branches, tax implications in different states and so on. As business activity increases, the role of tax consultants becomes important. Their services are required by organisations during mergers and acquisitions too .

A tax consultant helps clients, both individuals or businesses, pay their taxes and prepares their tax returns. He or she has to be an expert in tax laws with full knowledge of all updates. Their primary role is to ensure that their clients comply with all their tax obligations. A tax consultant can have an individual practice or work for an accounting, law or financial consulting firm.

“The tax and regulatory environment in India is undergoing unprecedented changes. As the Goods and Services Tax Bill or GST Bill gets readied for clearance, several tax treaties are being revised, and changes are being brought about in the domestic tax law and allied regulations. Tax advisors have an important role to play in advising clients on the tax implications arising out of business transactions and ensuring that clients are well versed with tax laws,” says Vikas Vasal, partner-tax, KPMG in India.

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Companies require help from tax consultants to understand tax implications of business transactions. Tax consultants advise clients on tax and regulatory compliances like income tax, service tax, foreign exchange regulations etc.

“Factors that are fuelling the demand for tax professionals include use of complex business models, approach and technologies in businesses; global expansion of Indian businesses and a large number of MNCs establishing their footprint in India; evolution of new and international tax laws; and emergence of new entrepreneurial opportunities, especially in the e-commerce segment (start-ups),” says Neeru Ahuja, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP.

Tax auditing is one of the functions/services of a chartered accountant, which has evolved over ime. A tax auditor analyses financial statements prepared by businesses, reviews documents and other records and issues a report on the current state of businesses.

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“Tax auditors also help clients in tax management, tax advisory, tax compliance including assistance in filling income tax returns and representing them before tax departments and tribunals,” says Ahuja.

Managing balance sheets (HT Photo)

If you want to pursue a career in tax auditing or tax consultancy, you need to register for a chartered accountancy course offered by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Besides the ability to handle numbers, those interested in pursuing a career as a tax consultant should possess knowledge of how businesses work and be quick at problem solving.

They should also possess excellent communication skills for being able to work closely with clients and colleagues.