CPA vs Tax Accountant: Choosing the Right Financial Professional

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If you're seeking assistance with your taxes, you may have come across two different types of professionals: Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and tax accountants. While both can provide valuable assistance with tax preparation and planning, there are some key differences between the two. If you are confused about which one to opt for a CPA or tax accountant, then In this blog post, we'll explore what distinguishes a CPA from a tax accountant and help you understand which may be the right choice for your tax needs.

Tax accountant vs. CPA in a table!


Tax Accountant

Licensed Unlicensed
Professional Practical
Generalist Specialist
Offers more services Offers fewer services
Higher fees Lower fees
Provides auditing, attestation, and financial planning services Focuses on tax preparation and planning
Required to meet continuing education requirements Continuing education is not required
Can represent clients in front of the IRS Cannot represent clients in front of the IRS
Held to a higher ethical standard Not held to the same ethical standard


Everything about CPA vs. Accountant for taxes!

Tax accountants and CPAs are very different professions. Tax accounting is the practice of preparing tax returns for clients or firms, while CPAs are certified public accountants who have passed the Uniform CPA Examination. The term "CPA" refers to a specific type of professional accountant. In order to be an actual CPA, one must pass an exam administered by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). This exam is similar in many ways to what other countries call their "certified public accountant" exams (e.g., in Canada: CA*RCC), but there are some differences between American and Canadian professionals that make things even more complicated. The most common question in the United States is “Does CPA do taxes done by tax accountants?” Keep reading to get the answer!

Also Read This:- How to Become a Tax Accountant: Your 2023

A tax accountant is a person or firm that prepares or assists in preparing tax returns.

A tax accountant may be from any type of accounting firm, and they don't have to practice as a tax accountant to prepare taxes for clients or firms. A CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is an individual who has completed an academic program at an approved college meeting certain academic requirements, passed a specific exam, and obtained appropriate licensing from their state's board of accountancy; this includes passing the Uniform CPA Examination (UCAE).

A CPA is a Certified Public Accountant who has passed the Uniform CPA Examination.

A CPA is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The American Bar Association (ABA) accredits CPA firms and individual CPAs in more than 200 countries worldwide. There are many different types of CPAs. A CPA can be a certified public accountant, which is the highest level of certification for an accounting professional. Other types of CPAs include:

  • Certified Management Accountants (CMA)
  • Certified Financial Planners (CFP)
  • Certified Economic Developers (CEU)

A CPA does not have to practice as a tax accountant to prepare taxes for a client or firm.

If you have a CPA, he or she can prepare your taxes for you. However, if your account is not a tax accountant, he or she does not have to practice as one to do so. A CPA might work for firms that specialize in accounting and/or tax preparation (and often both). In fact, many CPAs will also be certified public accountants (CPAs).

There are hundreds of different kinds of tax preparation offices and firms in America today.

Tax preparation offices and firms are a dime in a dozen in America today. There are hundreds of different kinds of tax preparation offices and firms, each offering different services at various prices.

CPA vs. accountant for taxes

It's important to remember that tax accountants and CPAs are still very different professions. While both groups prepare taxes, they do so in different ways and with different responsibilities. A CPA is required by law to pass the Uniform CPA Exam, which assesses their knowledge of accounting principles, financial management skills, ethics, and professional responsibility for clients' interests (and more). The exam consists of two parts:

  • Part I covers general business topics such as economics and managerial accounting.
  • Part II focuses on cost principles specific to preparing tax returns and performing audits.

Tax accountants don't have these legal requirements. They're not required by law or industry standards to pass any formal certification exams. However, many choose to voluntarily sign up for these types of certifications anyway because they feel it enhances their reputation among peers who specialize in this area.


If you’re planning on hiring a CPA for your taxes, make sure the person you choose is certified. This means that they have passed a test and have been approved by their state board of accountancy. If you can’t find an accountant who is certified, then ask around until someone recommends one. Hope we have cleared everything about tax accountant vs. CPA. If you are looking for certified tax accountants or certified public accountants, look no further than Global FPO!

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