The Certified Tax Accountant (CTA)is an independent, professionally qualified person who provides tax professional services to the public, business entities and other organizations.
He is a Strategist, an Expert Consultant and a Facilitator.
Let us explore these three attributes of the CTA briefly.
As a Strategist
A Certified Tax Accountant formulates tax strategy for governments and business organizations as a response to political and socioeconomic demands. Governments evolve fiscal policies annually and sometimes with reviews during the year. One very important component of fiscal policies is the generation of revenue to satisfy social needs, control the economy and support other national expenditures. Governments all over the world solicit the help of the tax professional to formulate revenue generation strategies.
Business organizations generate a series of corporate, business and functional strategic alternatives. In order to choose among the strategic alternatives, the business has to evaluate the strategic options against each other. The aim is to choose the best strategic option that maximizes the wealth of the owners. Every strategic option has tax implications. As such, the tax professional formulates tax strategies for the strategic alternative depicting how the shareholders’ wealth is maximized as a result of tax savings on each strategy. Each of the strategic option is then evaluated and a strategic choice is made. Thus, the tax professional helps businesses to make an informed strategic choice.
As an Expert Consultant
The Certified Tax Accountant as an expert consultant provides several services to society, some of which includes:-
- Tax Research, such as gathering all the facts about an issue with tax implications, diagnosing the tax problem from the facts, locating the authorities, evaluating the authorities, deriving the solution(s) and giving feedback to the client. The client may be government, businesses, individuals and organizations.
- Tax and business advisory/ management consulting services.
- Provide expert advice to Government, organizations and individuals on tax implications of new ways of transacting business e.g. e-Commerce.
- Provide expert advice to investors as to where to get the best tax benefits for their investments and tax havens.
- Developing tax function structure for organizations as a means to good corporate governance practice.
- Tax Compliance services to clients. Procedural problems of complying with the tax laws such as due dates, raising a self assessment, filing a tax return, paying the tax due and resolving tax disputes might seem very ordinary but very critical and complex in application. The tax professional gathers the requisite information from the taxpayer, analyze the information and advise the client as to any tax planning advantages. The tax professional takes the necessary steps to either comply with the tax laws on behalf of the client or let the client comply.
As a Facilitator
The Tax Professional as a facilitator undertakes the following:-
- Advocacy role for the enactment of tax legislation that would promote economic growth, better standards of living and economic development.
- Tax education and tax awareness creation among the populace.
- Helps the tax authorities to simplify tax administration procedures. The CTA, being a facilitator, a strategist, and an expert consultant should be on top of issues that move the nation, the entity or the individual forward. These issues are overall policy and strategy formulation of government, businesses and activities of the individuals and governance.
- As such, the Council of The Institute of Certified Tax Accountants constantly reviews its syllabus to meet the ever changing tax environment. Do not be surprised when Council reviews the Institute’s syllabus frequently. This is done so that the CTA would always be ahead to confidently offer the best of service to society.