FAQ: What Is the Difference Between a Tax Attorney and a CPA?

Both tax attorneys and certified public accountants, or CPAs, are available to people and organizations trying to understand the frequently perplexing world of taxes. Members of both professions work on a variety of tax-related issues, and their expertise can overlap in some areas, despite the fact that there are differences between a tax attorney and a CPA. CPAs and tax lawyers, however, also focus on areas that are particular to their fields of practice.

Ep 2: The difference between CPA and Tax Attorney

What is a tax attorney?

A tax attorney is a member of the legal profession who has received training in tax law and tax court precedents. To practice law, they must first pass their state’s bar exam before becoming tax attorneys. Tax attorneys are experts at defending clients in tax disputes that need to go to court. If a company operates in multiple states, they can also assist businesses in adhering to IRS regulations in each state they operate in or across locations.

Tax attorneys can file lawsuits and represent clients in court because they are fully licensed to practice law. On behalf of a client, they may also speak with judges and the IRS directly.

Any of the following duties could fall under the purview of a tax attorney:

What’s the difference between a tax attorney and a CPA?

Even though both tax preparation and tax liability advice can be provided by professionals, tax attorneys are trained in tax law while CPAs are accountants with extensive training and credentials in the financial aspects of tax reporting.

A tax lawyer is authorized to work in a particular state (or states, for some lawyers). They assist people and organizations with legal matters involving issues like unpaid back taxes or property liens. A tax lawyer can serve as a client’s point of contact with the Internal Revenue Service, frequently negotiating payment terms or reducing penalties.

CPAs are accounting experts who can prepare taxes for clients in order to maximize assets and minimize tax liabilities. To be able to serve as financial advisors, CPAs must complete extensive business and financial training. For those with more complicated tax obligations, such as those involving business finances, divorce and child support obligations, or real estate holdings, a CPA can assist with tax preparation.

How do the roles of CPA and tax attorney differ?

Although both tax attorneys and CPAs deal with tax-related issues, their primary responsibilities are very different. To better serve their clients, tax attorneys stay up to date on new regulations and are knowledgeable about tax law. The majority of tax attorneys work for law firms, though they can also work on their own

A CPA typically runs their own business independently, though some opt to work for an accounting firm or a major corporation. A CPA, as opposed to a tax attorney, will assist a client in filling out, preparing, and filing a tax return with the goal of streamlining complex information from various sources. Instead of the legal aspects of tax liability, they place more emphasis on the financial side. CPAs are also certified to do more than prepare taxes. They create financial reports and examine a company’s financial accounts while working with business clients.

What is a CPA?

For both individual and business clients, a CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, is in charge of a variety of financial preparations, including tax statements. Additionally, CPAs serve as financial advisors, advising clients on choices that may have an impact on their investment holdings and tax obligations.

After receiving a degree in accounting or a related field, CPAs are required to pass an exam to become qualified to perform tasks beyond those of an accountant. Every three years, they must also complete 120 hours of continuing education.

Companies that trade on the stock market must file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and CPAs are qualified to do so. They can focus on the accounting side of tax preparation, performing audits and examining financial records.

CPAs are responsible for the following activities:

What’s the difference in education and training for a CPA vs. a tax accountant?

CPAs go to school for a four-year degree. The number of credit hours needed will vary depending on the state because each one has its own board that regulates accounting. CPAs typically pursue an accounting degree with courses in auditing, business ethics, and accounting principles. Some CPAs choose to pursue a higher education with a more specialized accounting focus. A CPA cannot practice in their state without first passing a national exam.

A tax accountant enters law school for two to three years after receiving their undergraduate degree. A tax accountant must pass the state bar exam and obtain a legal degree with a taxation law concentration before they can be admitted to practice law in their state.

What is the salary difference between a CPA and a tax attorney?

When you come across one of the following circumstances, you might want to hire a tax attorney to serve as your legal advisor and advocate:

When should you hire a CPA?

CPA services can be helpful under the following circumstances:

What is a tax audit and how can a tax attorney or CPA help?

The IRS may determine that the data on a tax return requires further examination after a person or business files their taxes with the government. The IRS uses audits to check the accuracy of the information provided on tax documents.

You will almost certainly receive a letter in the mail if you are under audit. The letter will explain what the IRS needs to verify. This might contain more details about your earnings or other potential sources of investment. You have 30 days from the date you receive an audit letter to respond. If you don’t cooperate with an audit, the IRS might alter your tax return and begin charging you fees. There shouldn’t be any more requests or problems if you can provide the supporting documentation needed to clarify the information in question.

If a company or person is subject to an “office” audit, the IRS will ask to meet in person. These audits necessitate more thorough verification, and frequently, the assistance of a tax attorney. Because a CPA will confirm the information you provide before filing a tax return, using one may reduce your risk of being audited by the IRS.


What is the difference between a CPA and a tax preparer?

A licensed professional with advanced education and training in numerous accounting and business fields is known as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Basic tax preparation does not require advanced degrees, but a licensed tax preparer must demonstrate competency through a formal exam or employment with the IRS.

Is it worth it to have a CPA do your taxes?

An RTRP is acceptable if your tax return is straightforward, but if you require someone who can handle more complexity, working with a CPA might be wise. A competent CPA can do a lot to increase your refund or prepare your tax return in a more intelligent way. According to Kohler, “so many people believe that it is just a tax return.”

Can a CPA help you pay less taxes?

Your CPA can assist you in maximizing those deductions to lower your taxable income and the amount of taxes you owe. Whether you’re already divorced or just separated, your financial situation will have changed. To find out how your ex is filing if you’re still married,

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *