What does a Tax Associate do exactly?

January – March/April.

On a very basic level, returns for corporations are due April 15th, same as for individuals, while returns for Partnerships are due March 15th.

However, due to complexities and convenience, most entities will apply for an extension to enable them to file their returns September 15th for Partnerships, and October 15th for Corporations.

Thus, we spend this time filing extensions for our clients.

Additionally, we might also prepare/file certain returns that flow into other more complex returns down the line.

April/May – July.

During this time, we get to work preparing Federal returns, both for the aforementioned Partnership and Corporate entities.

Again, depending on the clients business structure and operation complexity, we would be working on Partnerships, since they are due first and flow into Corporate Returns.

Individual owners need to pick up their share of income, deductions, credits, etc, from the Partnership return as well, on a Schedule K1 for the various entities they own.

It’s like when a child is born, you need the Birth Certificate to get the Social Security Card, and then you need that to open a bank account. Taxation can be layered like that too where applicable.

July – September/October.

State returns get prepped during this time. The starting point for state returns come from numbers on the Federal Return, so that needs to be finalized before starting State Returns.

September/October to December.

This is chill time for an associate, relative to the rest of the year.

We typically work on states that have filing deadlines during this period -there simply aren’t a lot of those.

We also work on estimating our client’s tax liability for the Fourth Quarter of the current year and First Quarter of the next year.

My firm schedules training during this time as well.

Note: This is only one look into the life of a Tax Associate. There are various other areas like International Tax, Mergers & Acquisitions, Valuation Services, State & Local Tax, etc. Professionals in these areas have a considerably different day to day. 

** The views expressed by the author are their own and not that of their employer or other party.


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