Cut Through the Tangles of Tax Planning with the Right Professional
Cut Through the Tangles of Tax Planning with the Right Professional

As a salon or spa owner, you're well-versed in the importance of specialization. Just as you wouldn't send a client seeking color treatments or extensions to a standard nail salon, it's crucial to align your business's financial needs with the right professional expertise. However, deciding what kind of tax professional you need can be tricky.

Accountants and CPAs

While you've likely heard the terms Accountant and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) used interchangeably, there are critical distinctions between the two. CPAs must meet specific educational and experience requirements set by their respective state, including possessing at least a bachelor’s degree and passing the Uniform CPA Examination. Meanwhile, an Accountant is a more general term referring to individuals of all levels of experience and qualifications. Accountants are expected to possess at least a high school diploma or G.E.D. and have examination or other education requirements.   

CPAs have a much broader scope of practice in comparison to a general accountant, their practice includes tax preparation, auditing and audits, and financial analysis. While a rare area of practice for CPAs, CPAs may also practice before the IRS. Accountants are often limited to bookkeeping, management accounting, and budgeting by their employers, however, while less common, Accountants may also prepare tax returns.

Enrolled Agents

There also exists the less commonly known designation of Enrolled Agent (EA). To become an EA, a candidate must possess at least a high school diploma or G.E.D., and must either pass the Special Enrollment Exam or have five years of experience working for the IRS regularly interpreting tax regulations. EAs may practice before the IRS, but are limited to providing services in the realm of taxation, such as collections and appeals, whereas a CPA or Tax Attorney can provide additional services beyond taxation.

Tax Attorneys

A Tax Attorney is a lawyer who specializes in tax law, generally (1) holding at least a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from an accredited law school and having passed the bar exam in their jurisdiction. While Tax Attorneys typically don't prepare tax returns themselves, they analyze the tax code to ensure their clients are staying compliant with the applicable tax laws, while simultaneously minimizing their tax burden through proactive planning, or representing clients across a variety of tax controversy matters, individual or business in nature.

Due to their deep understanding of tax law and its complexities, Tax Attorneys can take a more intensive and holistic approach to tax planning. They not only consider the immediate tax implications but also integrate tax strategies that bleed into other aspects of your life beyond taxation, such as estate planning, asset protection, and business succession planning. This comprehensive approach aims to minimize your overall tax liability while ensuring compliance.

In the world of finances, selecting the right professional to handle your taxes can make all the difference in the success of your salon business. Whether it's an accountant, CPA, Enrolled Agent, or tax attorney, the choice is significant. By considering factors such as expertise, experience, and communication style, salon owners and stylists can ensure they have a trusted advisor to navigate the complexities of tax regulations. Remember, investing time and effort into finding the perfect fit now can lead to long-term financial peace of mind and prosperity for your business.

If you have questions or are not sure where you start, send Azarvand Tax Law an email at, or book a free consultation online at

(1) There are four states that allow bachelor degree holders to sit for the bar exam after completing an extensive apprenticeship with a law office or court, among other requirements, however, this practice is extremely rare.


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