Tax Consultant – Steuerberater
In Germany, access to the profession of tax consultant (German: Steuerberater) is strictly regulated.
Tasks of a Tax Consultant
Tax consultants support private people and companies with preparing tax returns, reviewing tax saving models and assess contracts from a tax point of view. They also offer companies business management assistance with accounting according to national and international standards, balance sheets and customs matters. A tax consultant’s tasks include furthermore:
- Advice and representation in tax matters,
- preparing tax returns,
- preparing financial statements,
- criminal tax proceedings and administrative offense proceedings,
- representation of tax offices,
Hard skills and soft skills of a tax consultant
Some of the hard and soft skills of a tax consultant are:
- number cruncher,
- legal knowledge, not only tax law but also civil, corporate, and commercial law,
- understandable communication of complex tax issues,
Formal Requirements for the Tax Advisor Profession
- After studying economics with a major in taxes for a Bachelor's degree, you need 3 years of professional experience under supervision of an admitted tax consultant.
After studying to become a tax consultant with a Bachelor's and Master's degree, 2 years of professional experience are required.
- After an apprenticeship as a tax clerk, 10 years of professional experience are necessary to obtain the license for tax consultancy. This 10 year period can be shortened to 7 years through further training to become a tax specialist or accountant. Such practical work in regards to accounting or preparation of tax returns does not have to be done full-time, part-time is also possible, but 16 hours per week must be fulfilled. The practical work does not have to be continuous or carried out within a certain period of time. Experience abroad can be considered when accordingly documented.
At the beginning of your career, you can expect to earn around €4.000 gross per month. Top salaries can be more than €8.000 gross per month, depending on the type of company and with 10 to 15 years of experience. The median salary of a tax advisor in Germany is €6.688 gross per month.
Persons over 45 Years
If you are 45 years or older, you also have to receive a salary of at least € 4015 in western Germany resp. € 3905 for eastern Germany. If your salary will be lower than that threshold, you will have to show an adequate pension plan or other provisions for retirement. This coverage can be either the state pension plan from home, private savings, or closing a German pension plan or a mixture of all. The government wants to make sure that you will not be dependent on welfare upon retiring.
N.B. This is only relevant for the very first permit!