FAQ: Selecting or changing a tax consultant

Selecting a tax advisor

Reasons for consulting a tax advisor:

  • You are legally required to submit a tax return, for example due to a summons by the German tax authorities (Finanzamt)
  • Uncertainty or lack of knowledge of tax laws and the feeling that you may be losing money because you are not taking advantage of all possibilities
  • Maintaining your own rights by sticking to rules regarding deadlines and formalities
  • The desire to concentrate on your own competencies by outsourcing tasks that you often consider bothersome
  • You plan to start your own business
  • You need competent advice on transferring wealth and concerning the generational change
  • You have been charged with tax evasion

Choosing a tax advisor is a very personal decision. In order to guarantee a trustful cooperation, there should be a large overlap between the client and tax advisor in terms of shared values.In order to get a first impression, I offer an initial consultation, which can help both sides to get to know each other and decide whether cooperation makes sense.

Changing tax consultants

Reasons for finding a new tax consultant:

  • Your tax consultant is not available for you
  • Your tax consultant does not devote enough time for your tax matters
  • Agreed deadlines are not met
  • You have the feeling that you are not being advised well
  • You have the feeling that you are not getting good value for money
  • You have moved and you are looking for a local contact person for your tax matters
  • There were personnel changes at your tax consultant

 

1. Can I simply change my tax advisor?

Yes, in principle you can change your tax advisor at any time. This is possible according to paragraph  627 of the BGB. It is your personal decision whom you hire to take care of your tax obligations.

2. Can the change happen during the year?

Yes, in principle you can end the relationship with your existing tax advisor by the end of every month.

3. Am I allowed to simply discontinue the contract with my existing tax advisor ?

If you do not trust your current tax advisor, you can cancel it with immediate effect.

4. Will the tax advisor I have worked with until now cause problems, for example by delaying the handover documents, or not handing over documents at all?

Normally, this should not be a problem. Tax advisors are subject to special professional obligations. They are required to facilitate a smooth changeover for their clients.

5. What happens to the documents and data that were with the old tax advisor?

All data (mainly through a DATEV changeover) can be sent electronically and in an uncomplicated manner to the new tax advisor, as soon as all outstanding invoices are paid.

6. Will there be problems with the German tax authorities (Finanzamt)?

It is your personal decision who you want to take care of your tax matters. The Finanzamt leaves this decision to you.

7. Is my old tax advisor not liable anymore after I switch to a new tax advisor?

The liability of your old tax advisor remains in place for any possible errors regarding previous advice.



Education / Examination of tax consultants

Permission to take the German tax consultancy state examination is, in principle, possible via two routes: the academic route by means of a college degree or by means of an apprenticeship as well as work experience. In order to be allowed to take the state exams, the following conditions must first be met, as described in the table below:

For nationals of other member states of the European Union (EU) or members or signees of the treaty constituting the European Economic Area or Switzerland, special provisions apply.

The tax consultant state examination places very high demands on the abilities and knowledge of the aspirant. Practical experience alone is not enough. An intensive and systematic preparation for the tax consultant exam is essential.