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The Difference Between A Tax Lawyer And An Accountant

Law March 17, 2020

First of all, it is important to note that the title of a tax specialist is not regulated in Canada. Anyone with basic experience can declare themselves a tax specialist. In your choice of a tax specialist, it is therefore essential to take into account the training of this one.

That said, whatever your situation, tax matters require the advice of a knowledgeable and professional person. For all business leaders, it is essential to rely on excellent professionals. Tax Lawyers and tax accountants listed on Best Lawyers Toronto are therefore important players in your entrepreneurial life.

The Difference Between A Tax Lawyer And An Accountant


Role of the tax lawyer

The tax lawyer has an overview of your situation given his multidisciplinary expertise, which allows him to advise you on the fundamental elements of your tax planning. The tax lawyer determines the optimal structure for operating your business and minimizing your taxes. The tax lawyer is also empowered to carry out the agreed planning, ie creating companies, setting up trusts, etc.

Role of the accountant

Once the structure proposed by the tax lawyer has been put in place, the accountant ensures that it functions properly. The latter will, in particular, prepare the financial statements and tax returns in accordance with the strategy established by the tax lawyer.

Relationship between the tax lawyer and his client

A tax lawyer advises the taxpayer, both on commercial and tax issues affecting his business than on personal issues, such as marriage, death, etc. The tax lawyer is there to defend your interests.

Relationship between the accountant and his client

The relationship between the accountant and his client is important but will usually be limited to more economical matters.

Tax lawyer and professional secrecy

The tax lawyer is your trusted ally and the information you entrust to him is secure. The relationship between the tax lawyer and his client is protected by professional secrecy, that is to say, that your communications will remain confidential, which is not necessarily the case for your accountant.

Choose the right tax lawyer

A tax lawyer is, first of all, a lawyer with a university education in law. Second, since the title of a tax lawyer is not regulated, several university programs or relevant experience could justify the title of a tax lawyer. However, given the complexity of tax rules, most tax lawyers have a master’s degree in taxation.

In conclusion

A tax lawyer advises the taxpayer either on an ad hoc basis for a transaction or generally to establish an efficient operating structure to minimize taxes. Consulting a tax lawyer is worth it.

Summary of differences

Tax lawyers:

  • Possibility of representing the client in court (Tax litigation).
  • Professional secret; and
  • Drafting of legal documents related to tax planning.

Tax accountants:

  • Preparation of tax returns; and
  • Better knowledge of the client’s situation.


Whatever the situation, when there are questions of taxation, it is advisable to call on the services of the two professionals so that they collaborate, and this, in order to offer the best possible solution.

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