We are nearing the end of March and most of us are busy running to tax consultants for the last minute investments. Someone said death and taxes are inevitable. We tend to get very jittery when it comes to taxes. For us a tax consultant is saving grace who helps us plan things and save most of our hard earned money from going into taxes. But in this global arena today, the role of a tax professional is not just limited to this. Today it is more about grabbing opportunities to help the leadership at multinational businesses understand the influence of various tax laws on crucial business decisions. Tax professionals also focus on niche and some of them are highly specialized particular industry or business.
Some of the areas of specialization for tax consultants are:
- Corporate Tax Services: This is for you if you want to focus only on business taxes. This requires a specialised knowledge of corporate taxes right from the production stage to the sales of product or service. To be an expert in corporate taxes, one must have a sharp business acumen.
- International Tax: This is also an offshoot of Corporate Taxes where tax consultants focus only on multinational corporations or businesses having overseas operations. The areas of specialization includes international tax laws, risk and compliance, business model optimization, and many more. It may also happen that the tax consultant focuses only on a particular region or part of the globe. Sound interpretation of international tax laws is a must in this profile.
- Mergers & Acquisitions: Mergers & Acquisitions are one of the most important events of an organisation and tax consultants play an important role here. Right from advising on the tax implications during the process till the post-transaction stage, consultants need to be involved at every step. There is also a lot of due-diligence work that needs to be done by taxation experts during Mergers & Acquisition.
- Interstate Tax Services: Companies which operate across states may have various regulatory issues to deal with. As a tax consultant specializing in multi-state tax services, you should be very well aware of the different taxes levied across states, the state-specific duties etc. on doing business etc.
- Wealth taxation: India is a land where many joint families flourish and hold huge volumes of wealth in various forms such as cash, land, jewellery etc. For dealing with tax related complexities, many people employ consultants to assist them on Estate planning, Will creation, implication of taxes in the event of a trust holding the assets, transfer of ownership etc.
- Transfer Pricing: Many multinational corporations conduct business within their own companies, such as purchasing goods or services from one business unit branch to another. A tax consultant helps companies to understand the nuances of transfer pricing as well as making them aware of the risks by designing processes and approaches to address both their needs. To design such complex process, a tax consultant must possess critical thinking skills.
- Tax credit adviser: For many innovative businesses such as manufacturing, life sciences or renewable energy, R&D tax credits are a major source of finance. Tax consultants help such companies to understand how to reap the benefits of these incentives. By getting more tax credits they can utilize the funding for manufacturing new drugs, inventing new processes, improving technology and many more such things. In this case a tax consultant would require specialization in the specific R&D area, holistic approach to taxation and nuances of the funding arena.
Thanks to globalization, a tax consultant dons many hats today. They are much in demand not only in a typical audit and Chartered Accountancy firm, but also in tax advisory departments of multinational corporations and big consultancy firms. Though the basic guidelines remain the same for all, what makes a difference is mainly the orientation of mind. If you want to expand your horizons beyond the conventional roles of a tax consultant, you need to think big and be prepared to study the complexities of taxation norms in various regions of the world as well in various business scenarios. Apart from the traditional Chartered Accountancy, global qualifications like CFA, ACCA or CIMA are the perfect routes to grab that coveted role in Tax advisory services in leading global organisations.