|Mark C King, CTA|
Company: Financial Index Wealth Accountants
Member since: 2009
Areas of specialty
Broadly, SMSFs, small business advisory and individual taxation. I have developed a subspecialty for tracking investments for SMSF or investment portfolios. This involves maintaining cost-base records, and income and valuation tracking. We do this electronically and are always looking at updating the e capabilities of our information-gathering systems. This specialty grew from watching my own investments and needing to be on top of the tax issues associated with corporate restructures, deferred income distributions etc.
Why are you a member of The Tax Institute?
The Tax Institute has provided me with the framework to gain a deeper depth of understanding of tax law and tax practice. This was demonstrated to me when I was a member of a national association of Chartered Accounting firms and I see it as increasing in importance in my new role of establishing the tax practice business line with Financial Index Wealth Accountants.
How is your membership beneficial to your practice and clients?
I find that the accuracy and authority of Tax Institute publications, journals and updates give me a level of understanding of contemporary taxation issues that increases my confidence to deal with the issues in practice. I use the electronic publications as reference sources, especially when advising on the small business entity CGT concessions. It is important to be confident with the advice you are giving, but just as important to identify any risks and to ensure that your client is comfortable with the level of risk involved. I think this is where the depth of knowledge available through Tax Institute sources helps most — all facets of the tax argument are explored and the practitioner can settle on an informed position.
How did you end up in tax?
My initial career was as a navigator in the Royal Australian Air Force. I was always comfortable dealing with numbers, and accounting seemed like a natural progression when it was time for a change. I often say “navigation was all about numbers under pressure and so is accounting”. The taxation side is the interesting and challenging side of the accounting profession. Moreover, everyone you meet needs taxation advice!
What are the challenges for tax practitioners this year?
I’m not sure that the challenges change much from year to year. The newly elected government has put a brake on the rate of change, at least temporarily, by suspending action on a number of proposed legislative changes. The economy remains reasonably flat in the ACT, so the challenge this year will be around delivering value for money for our clients.
Most memorable career moment to date
You always remember the “extreme” reactions of your clients. They can be reacting to good or bad news. I’ve had a few great reactions when I’ve worked through a business disposal and have been able to advise my client that there will be no tax to pay on the significant capital gain.
How do you relax?
I enjoy watching the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium and the Wallabies on TV. For a more active pursuit, I enjoy snow skiing.
Advice to those entering the profession
Study. No one wants to deal with an uninformed or lazy practitioner. Keep on top of the tax law, think about your clients and how they might benefit from changes or new ideas and attain your formal education goals. Learning never stops.
The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.