It really is an exciting time to be a tax professional

It’s probably rare for somebody to genuinely enjoy what they do for a living, but I know I sure do, and so do many of the tax professionals I have the privilege of working with.

Not only do we get to help people that genuinely need it, but we can be well compensated for providing that assistance. On top of that, we’re in an interesting time of change for our tax system and the federal agency that administers it. I don’t think we’ve had this level of change in a short time period since the big system overhaul back in 1986.

Everything from the Affordable Care Act, to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, to the lack of long-term tax legislation stability, are all impacting our profession. Tack on the stock market bubble, commodities confusion, real estate rebound, globalization of commerce, online source-level sales tax reporting, growing tax debts and compliance issues, and a myriad of other items, and things are just straight up wacky out here in Taxlandia.

All these changes are serving to increase the necessity of dedicated tax professionals.

Our colleagues across the Pacific, in Australia, recently launched a tax-specific analogue to the CPA designation, the Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA), specifically to address this matter. Singapore did the same in the last couple years, and other countries that did not previously have tax-specific licensure are now starting to do so.

Never underestimate the value of your time and expertise as a tax professional. Even within the tax ranks, it is increasingly necessary to specialize in a few niche areas of specialization. This is necessary not just because of increasing complexity, but also allows you to charge higher fees for that niche expertise.

Embrace the changing times we’re in, and look for ways to capitalize on it.