Therefore, we have committed a substantial investment in both personnel and dollars to helping our clients manage their tax liabilities. Our tax department is comprised of 15 professionals, three of whom have earned Masters degrees in Accounting, with emphasis in taxation. A number of our tax team members have completed a series of tax courses designed to advise the closely held business client in a wide array of tax issues, ranging from succession and estate planning to employee fringe benefits to advanced issues in corporate and partnership taxation. Through these 96 hours of classroom study, these individuals have earned the American Institute of CPA's certificate of educational achievement.
Members of our tax team have significant experience in representing clients before both the IRS and the various state taxing authorities. As both the federal and various state governments become increasingly active in enforcing their tax laws we can expect an increase in audits by the government. Surprisingly enough, the majority of this increase will not be by the IRS, but instead by state agencies looking at state income, sales and property tax issues. Members of our tax staff have over 35 years experience working inside both the IRS and Kansas Department of Revenue, which gives us and our clients a unique insight into the methods of the government tax authorities.
In addition to our people, CBIZ has made a significant investment in computerized tax research and planning and tax return preparation tools. Being able to find the solution for our clients' tax problems, both quickly and accurately, is critical to managing the tax burden. By use of CD-Rom-aided research tools we believe that we can find the most effective answer to any tax issue. Our use of the ProSystem CCH tax preparation software enables us to accurately and completely prepare all types of returns required by both the IRS and all 50 states. Not only does this software give us the ability to produce the usual business and individual tax returns, but it also gives us access to estate, trust & gift returns, multi-state apportionments and consolidated returns.
No one should ever pay more than his or her fair share of the tax burden. CBIZ firmly believes in and emphasizes the role of proper and timely tax planning for our clients. Our tax department is available to you throughout the entire year, not only when your tax return is due. We encourage our clients to consult with us before they enter into a business transaction, in order to see if there may be a way to structure the deal in such a way to minimize the tax consequences. Our mission is to provide you with a pro-active approach to tax planning that will give you a swift and accurate answer to your tax questions and will ultimately help ensure that you pay no more than what is absolutely required by law.