Who is Tax Advisor, Legal requirements and what his sense is in Czech legal system
For a lot of foreigners it is difficult to understand who tax advisor is, what his privileges, practice rights are and hence why the cooperation with a tax advisor beneficial is. The reason is that such profession does not exist everywhere, it is regulated in different way or even totally not regulated alternatively it is designated under different name, etc. Therefore we prepared a brief article with the aim to introduce you tax profession in the Czech Republic.
Czech Republic regulates the practice of tax advisory in the same manner as Germany or Austria. This is straightforward; our legal systems are very similar due to our joint history and also long lasting close business relationships. In all of these countries there is a self-governing autonomous organization established directly by law which supervise tax advisors. In the Czech Republic it is Czech Chamber of Tax Advisors, in Germany Bundessteuerberatungskammer and in Austria joint organization for tax advisors and auditors called Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder. Tax advisor is in Czech Republic same as in Austria and Germany a kind of independent profession such as Attorneys/Lawyers, Notaries or Architects.
Tax Advisor in European context
As we already mentioned, tax advisor or tax consultant is not defined everywhere the same way as an independent profession determined by a special law. For instance in Switzerland, which is considered to be similar to German legal culture, there is no such a profession. “Tax consultant”, generally called Treuhand, might be performed by anyone. Even within European Union there are big differences in the approach of the tax advisory legal framework. Most of the countries consider tax advisory as a common trade activity similar or same to accountants, financial advisors or insurance brokers etc. (tax advisory is often part of broader set of financial trade licenses). In some countries it is just a declared trade (anyone without fulfilling further conditions can perform the activities) in others it is considered as licensed trade (legal requirements such as particular time of practice). Among these countries belong for example Italy, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Great Britain, Malta and many more. In these countries there are typically different associations (private or non-profit organizations) that offer special membership for tax or more generally financial professionals in order to assure at least some ethical standards and help their professionals to involve in international structures. They often offer a lot of different certificates, schooling or further education; however these types of exams are mostly not legally binding. If you look for tax consultant in other EU member state than yours, we always recommend you to have a look at membership webpage of European Chamber of Tax Advisors, where you find these associations. Their members should have some certain level of quality.
Other equivalent terms similar to Czech Tax Advisor
Although the tax systems are incomparable, the classification of tax professionals in USA is quite suitable for the Czech Republic. Beside common accountants there are Certified Public Accountants (CPA), Enrolled Agents (EA) and attorneys (lawyers). Taxes are nothing else than a specific type of law. Therefore it is common that all attorneys are theoretically entitled to represent clients in all tax issues. On the other hand taxes are closely related to numbers and finance so attorneys must in most cases specialize on taxes.
CPAs and enrolled agents are entitled to represent their clients before financial authorities, file their tax returns, provide advices etc. In order to become CPA or EA you must fulfil some specific qualification or pass a special exam. CPA performance is typically restricted to US state license. For federal taxes you often choose specialized tax attorneys or enrolled agents.
Because the Czech Republic is not federative country we have just one taxation system. Therefore to sum it up, Czech tax advisor is in English speaking world similar to certified public accountant, sometimes called chartered accountant, tax attorney or enrolled agent.
Professional qualification and legal requirements for Tax advisor
Although the profession of a tax advisor (CPA) is one of the independent professions that are typically strongly regulated under demanding requirements, legal requirements for tax advisors in the Czech Republic are quite weak unlike requirements in Germany and Austria. Except common needs such as clean criminal record and legal capacity there are just two conditions to be fulfilled
- At least Bachelor degree from University or College; however regardless the subject of studies
- Passing exams organized by Czech Chamber of Tax Advisors
In other words, anyone with degree from Arts or Chemistry is entitled to attend the exam. The exam is supposed to be difficult (two parts each takes 5 hours from all taxes in the Czech Republic) however in comparison to similar exams in other independent professions especially those law oriented (attorneys, notaries, authorized engineers) it is an easy one. Moreover, there are no praxis requirements. In other words, 21 year old bachelor in philosophy might become Chartered Tax Advisor.
Therefore take into account that tax advisor certificate does not guarantee much quality. You should always look for persons that can prove their expertise, knowledge and professional qualification. If you cannot imagine what we mean, go ahead and read our article called
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