What is an Income Tax Accountant?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2019
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An income tax accountant is a person who helps taxpayers prepare their tax returns. A person in this field may concentrate on helping individuals or may assist both individual taxpayers and businesses with their taxes. In some cases, an income tax accountant may also help a company choose or implement a system of recording income and expenses, making preparing returns easier at the end of each tax year.

An income tax accountant may work for himself, as a sole proprietor, or work for a business that employs tax accountants. Independent and employed income tax accountants can handle the same types of clients, however. The difference between the two primarily involves the amount of pay the accountant receives. If he has an independent practice, he may earn more money because he can keep all of his client fees for himself, minus any business expenses. If he works for a company, on the other hand, he may receive an hourly pay or salary instead.


While some people do prepare their own income tax returns, many others use the services of an income tax accountant instead. People choose this option for a wide variety of reasons. Tax law can be complex, and using an income tax accountant frees the taxpayer from having to learn and understand it fully. A person may, for example, worry that he’ll make too many mistakes or miss out on important deductions. With the help of an income tax accountant, many people feel less stressed at tax time.

An income tax accountant can also help businesses and individuals save time. Completing tax returns and double-checking calculations can be time consuming. Many people prefer to turn over their information to a professional instead of spending hours, days, or even weeks working on them. This may be a primary consideration for those with complex tax situations or large amounts of income and expenses to calculate. For example, a business owner or person who owns rental properties may feel compelled to hire a tax accountant.

Often, people hire income tax accountants who are certified public accountants (CPAs). These individuals generally had to pass an exam in order to become licensed. In some places, a person may become an income tax accountant or preparer without obtaining licensing or certification. In such cases, the aspiring accountant may obtain training in the field or even secure an entry-level position that provides on-the-job training.



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