A career in tax can be dynamic, versatile and open up rewarding opportunities both locally and abroad. A multifaceted profession, there are many areas in the industry you can choose to specialise in when you've finished your further tax education.
But how do you know which is the perfect fit for your natural abilities? Here are four areas you can focus your tax training in, the skills and experience you’ll need to get there and the type of personalities primed to excel in them.
With the growing number of small-medium businesses in Australia, a business tax specialist will always be in high demand.
As a business tax specialist, you’ll need to be abreast of capital gains implications, the latest GST changes and depreciation schedules, as well as the special exemptions and deductions relevant to each business structure and industry.
Many tax specialists find this work rewarding, as it helps local businesses grow and remain sustainable. Keeping up with the constant federal regulatory changes impacting SMEs also means working in an area that is dynamic and always evolving.
An increasing number of people are choosing a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) to provide their retirement benefits because it offers more control over investments. Consequently, this has opened up a complex new arena for tax agents to specialise in, providing superannuation advice.
SMSFs are a legal tax structure regulated by the ATO and with strict reporting and compliance obligations. So as a superannuation specialist, you’ll need to stay abreast of any new developments in order to provide your clients with timely advice on the right structure and planning.
With severe penalties for non-compliance, an SMSF tax specialist has considerable responsibility and therefore needs to have good attention to detail and outstanding communication skills, along with a comprehensive understanding of superannuation law and practice.
3. Property investment
A property tax specialist provides advice for investors about asset protection while minimising tax liabilities. You will need to consider issues such as various tax structures, capital gains implications, deciding between holding and selling, renting, cash flow issues, renovations, transferring property and international tax implications as well as tax minimisation.
Property tax can be a highly complex area and laws and regulations can vary widely from state to state. One of the rewarding challenges of providing specialist property tax advice is helping clients find viable and sustainable solutions to maximise their opportunities and return on their investment. Specialists in this area will enjoy liaising with people who are interested in asset and wealth creation, including high-net-worth individuals and wealth-creation institutions.
4. Corporate advice
The corporate tax path may be well trodden, but for good reason – there are many rewarding specialisations in the larger corporate arena, including audit, compliance, consultancy and advisory work, which can open up exciting opportunities for specialists working in this sector.
If you’re one to thrive when given the opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with your colleagues, large-scale corporate advisory work will often have you working cohesively in a team environment, often across multinational channels.
You’ll need an understanding of international corporate tax implications, as well as great time management and effective communication skills, as you’ll be communicating across different time zones with your firm’s offices around the globe. But be warned: late nights and early mornings may be required!
Stand out from the crowd
Tax is a dynamic profession and in order to provide great specialist advice, practitioners must remain up to date with the changing landscape. As a member of The Tax Institute you will be equipped to provide the timeliest practical and sound advice in the area of specialisation of your choice.
Led by tax experts to benefit tax experts, The Tax Institute is the only body in Australia devoted exclusively to tax, and when you join its 13,000-strong community of the most knowledgeable practitioners, you’ll gain access to powerful resources, progressive education and influential networks.
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