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Here you will find Frequently asked questions about the "Fachberater (DStV e.V.)"

What is the difference between the specialist consultant concept of the DStV and that of the Federal Chamber of Tax Consultants?

The specialist adviser concepts of the BStBK and the DStV cover two different areas in terms of content. The Federal Chamber of Tax Advisors has introduced specialist adviser designations for the area of ​​reserved tasks (Section 33 StBerG), i.e. tax law ("Customs and excise duties", "International tax law"). The "Fachberater (DStV eV)" (for the specialist areas of rating, restructuring and corporate planning, execution of wills and estate administration, mediation, international accounting, corporate succession, controlling and finance, asset and financial planning as well as health care), on the other hand, cover aspects of the agreed activities of the tax consultant Section 57 (3) StBerG and therefore require in particular business knowledge. The content requirements of the two concepts are very similar, so that they complement each other optimally. The specialist advisor designations can be distinguished from one another for outsiders in that the specialist adviser designation assigned by the DStV has the addition “(DStV e.V.)”.

Can I use the designation "Fachberater / in (DStV e.V.)" on my office's letterhead?

Yes. The specialist advisor designations of the German Association of Tax Advisors (DStV) may be used for advertising purposes by tax advisors (letterheads, business cards, homepage). It should be noted that this does not happen in the immediate spatial context of the professional title “tax advisor” (cf. Section 9 (3) of the professional code of conduct for tax advisor (BOStB) in the version dated September 8, 2010). Furthermore, it should be noted that the specialist advisor designation is provided with the addition “(DStV e.V.)” to make it clear that it is a professional title conferred by private law.
The Federal Constitutional Court had already conclusively clarified the admissibility of professional adviser designations awarded under private law (BVerfG of June 9, 2010, Az. 1 BvR 1198/10) and thus expressly confirmed the specialist court decisions on this issue, as most recently by the Federal Fiscal Court (BFH of February 23, 2010, Az VII R 24/09).
As previously with the BFH, the Federal Constitutional Court pointed out that, due to Section 43 (2) sentence 2 StBerG, it is not permitted to use the DStV's specialist advisor titles as an addition to the professional title, i.e. in the immediate vicinity of the tax advisor title. For the necessary delimitation of when it is an "addition", in accordance with the common point of view found between the Federal Chamber of Tax Advisors and the DStV (Stbg. 05/2008, p. 222), it must be based on whether the specialist advisor designation in the professional context of the job title and the name of the tax advisor are clearly separated - in the case of business papers, for example, in the sidebar or footer. The responsible Chamber of Tax Advisors reserves the right to make a legally binding decision in individual cases.

I would like to take part in a specialist advisor course for compatible activities even though I am not a tax advisor. Is the?

In most cases (depending on the respective organizer), participation in a course does not require you to be appointed as a tax advisor. However, in order to receive the designation "Fachberater / in für ... (DStV e.V.)", at the time of submitting the application to the DStV, the appointment must be available as a natural person authorized to provide unlimited assistance in tax matters according to § 3 StBerG. In addition to tax advisors and tax agents, this is particularly the case with lawyers, auditors and sworn accountants.

Can I attend any specialist consultant course and apply for the DStV's specialist consultant designation with the corresponding certificate of attendance?

No. The consultant course attended must have been accredited by the DStV before it begins. To be sure that this is the case, you should get information directly from the organizer or the DStV.

What happens if I get sick while attending a specialist advisor course or cannot take part for professional reasons?

You can complete the specialist advisor course by taking the planned exams, but you must make up for the missed attendance times in one of the following courses. Only when you have taken part in all of the course content will you receive the relevant certificate of participation, which is required for submitting an application to the DStV. The missed hours must be made up by the same course provider. If it is not possible to catch up with the course provider because no course is offered, the provider will obtain a decision from the DStV on how the theoretical knowledge acquisition can be proven. The specialist advisory committee then decides at its due discretion, taking into account the circumstances of the individual case.

What happens if I fail individual parts of the exam?

You finish the planned course and take the failed exam in one of the following courses. The failed exam must be rescheduled from the same course provider.

Do you have to submit a certificate of attendance for the specialist advisor course, an examination certificate AND the examination results as proof of theoretical knowledge?

It is crucial that the certificates submitted show beyond any doubt that the applicant has participated in all face-to-face hours of the specialist advisor course and has passed all examinations under the responsible supervision of a university / professor. If this is not sufficiently evident from the certificates, copies of the corrected examinations must be submitted.

How exactly does the proof of practical experience according to § 3 of the DStV specialist advisor guidelines have to look like?

Proof of practical experience must enable the DStV and the specialist advisory committee to carry out a comprehensive examination. This means that there must be no doubt that the cases listed by the applicant correspond to the subject area and were actually dealt with personally by him. In addition, the cases cannot only be minor activities. For example, a one-time briefing with a client in need of restructuring or a one-time letter of formal notice to a credit-granting bank would not be sufficient. The presentation of the cases must make it clear that special knowledge in the respective subject area was necessary for the processing. The cases are to be listed in a case list and also to be proven by copies of anonymous work samples. Our leaflet contains further information on the work samples.

When providing evidence of practical experience, can I also state cases that I, as an employed tax advisor, have dealt with personally but without the right to sign?

Yes, that is possible. Personal processing does not necessarily require that all processes have also been drawn by the processor. In this case, however, we advise you to obtain additional confirmation from the office owner that the cases listed have been processed personally by the applicant.

Can I be sure that my details (possibly also those about the clients) will be treated confidentially and will not fall into the "wrong hands"?

Yes. Nevertheless, you should not submit any client data. Every applicant must comply with their duty of confidentiality and ensure that the client data is anonymized (Section 203 of the German Criminal Code) or that the client's consent to disclosure is obtained.

How long do I have to wait for the specialist advisor designation (DStV e.V.) to be awarded?

The applications for recognition as a specialist advisor will only be forwarded to the specialist adviser committee for review when all documents have been submitted in full and the processing fee of € 750 plus statutory sales tax has been received. The applications are collected and are currently sent to the committee once a month. Therefore, there can currently be six to seven weeks between the day the application is submitted to the DStV and the final award of the specialist advisor designation.

How much time do I have to gather my practical experience after completing the course and to submit the application to the DStV?

There is no time limit up to which an application can be submitted. However, it must be ensured that the required (and accredited by the DStV) compulsory training of 10 hours per year is completed in the year following the end of the course. It must be possible to provide complete evidence of this when submitting the application.

When do I have to provide proof of my annual advanced training?

According to § 5 of the DStV specialist advisor guidelines, the obligation to continue training exists for the first time from the year following the end of the course. The last scheduled teaching unit in each case is decisive for the end of the course. (Example: If the end of the course was in 2020, proof of further training to the extent of 10 hours is required for the first time in 2021.) Evidence must be submitted to the DStV without being asked by 31.3. of the following year. Failure to provide evidence will result in the expiry of the specialist advisor designation. From the time it expires, the name of the specialist advisor and other related information such as logos may no longer be used.

Which advanced training seminars are recognized by the DStV in accordance with Section 5 of the DStV specialist advisor guidelines?

As compulsory advanced training, ten hours of current or more in-depth advanced training in the respective subject area must be completed and proven to the DStV. Before attending the advanced training event you have chosen, make sure that it is accredited by the DStV and the number of hours it has been given, as only in this case it can be considered as a suitable evidence of advanced training. You will receive the relevant information directly from your organizer. The date and topic of the event as well as the number of recognized training hours must be clear from the certificate of attendance.

What is the background to the renaming of the name “Specialist for restructuring and insolvency administration (DStV e.V.)” to “Specialist for restructuring and corporate planning (DStV e.V.)?

The board of directors of the German Association of Tax Consultants (DStV) decided to change the names of specialist consultants in 2016: From 2017, the new name "Specialist for restructuring and corporate planning (DStV e.V.)" will replace the old name "Specialist for restructuring and insolvency administration (DStV e.V.)". The background to the renaming: With the new name, it will in future be more clearly emphasized that qualified tax consultants are the right contacts to help shape change processes in client companies. The new name is suitable for breaking down inhibitions at an early stage and asking for the support of your advisor in corporate matters. Because the new concept of restructuring starts much earlier than a reorganization, in which the crisis situation has usually already arisen. With the new concept of corporate planning, the focus is now even more focused on the competencies of consultants in the field of business consulting. These aspects have long been taken into account in the specialist consultant training of the German Tax Consultant Institute (DStI), the advanced training institute of the DStV. Specialist consultants for restructuring and corporate planning (DStV e.V.) will in future be able to highlight their special qualifications even better and market them in a practical manner.

Can I use the terms “specialist advisor for restructuring and insolvency administration (DStV e.V.)” and “specialist advisor for restructuring and corporate planning (DStV e.V.)” next to each other?

All already recognized specialist advisors with the designation "Expert Advisor for Reorganization and Insolvency Administration (DStV e.V.)" can choose whether they want to continue their old designation or change to the new specialist designation "Expert Advisor for Restructuring and Corporate Planning (DStV e.V.)". A change is possible for them free of charge and does not require a new recognition procedure. However, this option also means that it is not possible to use the designations in parallel.

Does the change to the new name "Specialist for restructuring and corporate planning (DStV e.V.)" have to take place by a certain deadline?

No, compliance with a deadline is not intended for the change.

After changing to the new name "Specialist for restructuring and corporate planning (DStV e.V.)", can I also return to the name "Specialist for restructuring and insolvency administration (DStV e.V.)"?

No, once you have decided on the new name, it is binding for the future.

I have decided to keep the old name. In terms of compulsory training, do I still have to attend events for "Specialists in restructuring and insolvency administration (DStV e.V.)", or is participation in further training for "Specialists in restructuring and corporate planning (DStV e.V.)" recognized?

By attending an advanced training event for "Specialist advisors for restructuring and corporate planning (DStV e.V.)", specialist advisors who continue to use the designation "Specialist advisors for restructuring and insolvency administration (DStV e.V.)" fully fulfill their training obligation.
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