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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have put some effort into searching for the answer to this myself, but I think it's a one sentence (or less) answer from someone who might know, so hopefully not asking too much.

I'm thinking about trying to do a 1 year (or longer, but minimum time would be preferable) diplome (or the equivalent) that would give me the right/certification to be a tax agent/accountant for people. As I go through my Australian taxes and French taxes, I'm discovering I'm learning alot about the process, that I might one day want to use to supplement my savings in the form of income.

I don't really want or need to be a fully fledged accountant (as I know alot of accounting programs at the best universities have a lot of Managerial accounting and Corporate Governance Accounting in them which isn't really required. My French is at the level I could study in French I believe. I have several degrees in Business and Engineering, so a Post-Graduate program would be ok as well.

Anyway, if someone can point me in the right direction with the name of the diplome, a link, or even a word to google.fr search, that would be great.

Thanks.
 

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There isn't really a diplome or certificate for doing taxes here in France. Most folks do their own or use a tax preparation software - or they use the services of an expert comptable, which is the French version of a Chartered Accountant or Certified Public Accountant and yes, that requires a full accounting degree.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Yes, agree!

I don't konw anyone who uses (or has used) an accountant for their personal tax. Businesses yes, of course, but for individuals there is not much choice in the way you make the declaration, and there is a wealth of online help, forums....and books in bookshops.

DejW

There isn't really a diplome or certificate for doing taxes here in France. Most folks do their own or use a tax preparation software - or they use the services of an expert comptable, which is the French version of a Chartered Accountant or Certified Public Accountant and yes, that requires a full accounting degree.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Just as a side note - unlike in the US (don't know about Australia and other countries), a paid tax preparer doesn't sign off on a tax declaration he or she has prepared. It's still the sole responsibility of the taxpayer for the accuracy of the tax declaration.

There is some business for dual-country tax advisers (especially for US-France taxes, given that all US citizens are subject to tax filings, even in France) - but given the limited circumstances under which most foreigners have to file two or more sets of taxes, these advisers tend to be professionals (accountants and/or attorneys) and pretty expensive.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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French tax offices are generally happy to give individual advice and even fill the form in for you if you ask. so it's doubtful many people would pay for help when they can get it for free, from people who are by definition fully trained and kept up to speed with the latest regulations and changes to the forms each year.

If you want to make a sideline out of helping newbies there does seem to be a market for general hand-holding, but I don't think specialising in tax declarations is the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just as a side note - unlike in the US (don't know about Australia and other countries), a paid tax preparer doesn't sign off on a tax declaration he or she has prepared. It's still the sole responsibility of the taxpayer for the accuracy of the tax declaration.
Bev
Australia is the same as France, no matter who prepares your taxes for you, be it a lawyer or an accountant, you sign it off and if it's wrong, it is you that is held responsible. I'm actually surprised that in the US a paid tax preparer can sign off on your tax return for you, but I'm no expert on US taxes. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
French tax offices are generally happy to give individual advice and even fill the form in for you if you ask. so it's doubtful many people would pay for help when they can get it for free, from people who are by definition fully trained and kept up to speed with the latest regulations and changes to the forms each year.

If you want to make a sideline out of helping newbies there does seem to be a market for general hand-holding, but I don't think specialising in tax declarations is the way to go.
Thanks, I did find the Fisc very nice and willing to help when I went there, but I found that because my situation wasn't that of your 'normal' expat they didn't know what to do with my taxes. The first person I saw referred me to their boss, who couldn't help either, and referred me to someone else, who also couldn't help.

But your point is well taken, people that need tax advice will basically fall into 2 categories:

1. People that are newbies and need a bit of hand holding that the Fisc can do for free.

2. People with very complicated situations, which will require an expert comptable, and I'm not going to go back to study for 8 years to get this qualification.

So I agree with your conclusions, but thanks again for everyone who offered advice on this post, it gave me a lot to think about.
 

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Australia is the same as France, no matter who prepares your taxes for you, be it a lawyer or an accountant, you sign it off and if it's wrong, it is you that is held responsible. I'm actually surprised that in the US a paid tax preparer can sign off on your tax return for you, but I'm no expert on US taxes. Thanks.
In the US a tax preparer doesn't sign off FOR you, but rather must sign the return in addition to your signature. There is a box now you can check, authorizing the IRS to contact the paid preparer (or another third party, who must be identified) if there are any questions. Technically, the taxpayer is ultimately responsible, but in this way they can fob off intermediary questions on the preparer at least.

As far as training to become an expert comptable, if you have an accounting qualification - like a CPA or CA or something similar, I think you can pursue a somewhat "streamlined" qualification process for expert comptable. But ultimately, you have to take the exam (in French).
Cheers,
Bev
 
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