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CPA Versus Tax Attorney in Florida: What’s the Difference? (2023)

As a taxpayer in Florida, you may have questions about the differences between a CPA (certified public accountant) and a tax attorney. Below we will provide an overview of the roles and responsibilities of CPAs and tax attorneys, as well as discuss some key differences between these two professions.

What Is a CPA?

A CPA is a professional the state has licensed to provide accounting and financial services to individuals and businesses. An individual must pass a difficult exam and meet certain education and experience requirements to be a CPA. Some services of a CPA include:

  • Tax preparation and planning
  • Financial statement preparation and analysis
  • Auditing and assurance services
  • Business consulting and advisory services

CPAs are trained in a wide range of accounting and financial principles and are well-equipped to handle various financial management and reporting tasks. However, while CPAs are knowledgeable about tax laws and regulations, they are not attorneys or licensed to provide legal services.

What Is a Tax Attorney?

A tax attorney is a lawyer who specializes in tax law. Tax attorneys are trained in the legal principles and procedures related to tax law and are licensed to provide legal representation and advice to clients in matters related to taxes.

Some of the services that a tax attorney may provide include:

Tax attorneys are also often called upon to advise and assist in matters related to estate planning, business structuring, and corporate reorganization.

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

While both CPAs and tax attorneys deal with financial and tax-related issues, there are some key differences between these two professions. Some of the main differences between a CPA and a tax attorney include:

  • Education and training. CPAs are trained in accounting and financial principles, while tax attorneys are trained in law and legal procedures.
  • Scope of practice. CPAs are qualified to provide accounting and financial services, while tax attorneys are qualified to provide legal representation and advice in tax-related matters.
  • Legal authority. CPAs are not licensed to provide legal services, while tax attorneys are licensed to practice law and provide legal representation.
  • Services provided. CPAs may provide services such as tax preparation, financial statement preparation, and business consulting, while tax attorneys may provide services such as representation in tax disputes, assistance with tax planning and compliance, and preparation and review of tax documents.

Which Professional Is Right for Me?

When deciding whether to work with a CPA or a tax attorney, it is important to consider your specific needs and goals. For example, if you are in need of accounting or financial services, such as tax preparation or financial statement preparation, a CPA may be the right choice for you. However, a tax attorney may be a better fit if you are facing a tax dispute or need legal representation in a matter related to taxes.

It is also worth noting that, in some cases, it may be beneficial to work with a CPA and a tax attorney. For example, suppose you are facing a tax dispute and need legal representation. In that case, a tax attorney may be able to provide representation, while a CPA may be able to provide assistance with tax planning and compliance.

If you are unsure which professional is right for you, it is a good idea to consult with a CPA and a tax attorney to understand your options better. This can help ensure that you are making an informed decision and working with the right professional for your needs.

FAQs

Q: Why Might You Seek the Help of a Tax Attorney Rather Than a CPA?

A: There are several key differences between a CPA and a tax attorney. CPAs are trained in accounting and financial principles. They are qualified to provide accounting and financial services, while tax attorneys are trained in law and provide legal representation and advice in matters related to taxes. A tax attorney may be the best choice if you are facing a tax dispute or need legal representation in a matter related to taxes. However, if you need accounting or financial services, such as tax or financial statement preparation, a CPA may be the right fit. In some cases, it may be beneficial to work with a CPA and a tax attorney to get the most comprehensive assistance.

Q: Is a CPA Better Than a Tax Preparer?

A: A CPA (certified public accountant) is generally considered a more qualified and reputable professional than a tax preparer. To become a CPA, an individual must pass a difficult exam and meet specific requirements for experience and education. In contrast, tax preparers are not required to have the same level of education or training as CPAs and are not required to pass any exams to practice. In addition, while tax preparers can be helpful for individuals who need assistance with preparing their tax returns, they may have a different level of expertise or knowledge than a CPA. Therefore, a CPA may be a better choice if you have a complex tax situation or need specialized advice on a tax matter.

Q: What if I Need Help With Accounting and Legal Matters Related to Taxes?

A: If you need assistance with both accounting and legal matters related to taxes, you may benefit from working with both a CPA and a tax attorney. More help can ensure that you are making informed decisions rather than relying on the advice or services of just one professional. It’s always best to discuss your specific needs and goals with a CPA and a tax attorney to ensure you are getting the most comprehensive assistance.

Q: How Often Should I Consult With My CPA or Tax Attorney?

A: Consult with your CPA or tax attorney annually to ensure that you take full advantage of any tax deductions or credits and ensure your taxes are accurate. This annual check-in can also be an excellent time to review any changes that may have occurred in the tax code and ensure that you take all the necessary steps to minimize your tax liability.

Contact TaxSmith, LLC, Today

At TaxSmith, LLC, we are committed to providing our clients with comprehensive and personalized tax services. We have a team of experienced CPAs and tax attorneys here to help you navigate the complexities of tax law and ensure that you maximize all available deductions and credits. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help you with your tax needs.

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