Friday, 26 June 2015

The National Tax Liaison Group

Last Thursday 18 June 2015, Tax Institute President Stephen Healey CTA, National Councillor Tim Neilson CTA, Tax Counsel Thilini Wickramasuriya FTI and myself all attended the ATO's National Tax Liaison Group meeting. At the meeting, a number of issues were covered, including:

  • Treasury provided an update regarding emerging themes coming through from submissions received so far in response to the “Re:Think" Tax Discussion Paper, which included broad agreement that the tax system is too complex, and noted there were divided views around reform of certain areas of the system including corporate tax, small business tax and GST;
  • An update from the ATO on its ‘Reinvention' program discussed with NTLG members;
  • A progress report on the ‘Review of ATO Advice and Guidance' that has been running over the past few months, as well as the ‘Renovating ATO Rulings' project on which The Tax Institute is working closely with the ATO; and
  • The ATO provided an update on the progress of the review of the consultation framework for which we should shortly see the outcome.

We will continue to update and involve members as these matters progress.

Also, members should note that on Wednesday this week, the Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Measures No. 3) Bill 2015 was introduced into Parliament just before Parliament rose yesterday. The Bill introduces the following 2015-16 Federal Budget measures:

  • the 5% tax offset for unincorporated small business entities (capped at $1,000);
  • the immediate deduction for professional costs for new small businesses; and
  • the FBT exemption for portable devices for small businesses.

However, we are not going to see legislation bringing in the CGT rollover relief for small businesses who restructure until Parliament next sits in Spring, which begins on 10 August.

As always, members are invited to contact us via the Tax Policy inbox regarding any policy and advocacy matters.

Stephanie Caredes CTA is a Tax Counsel of The Tax Institute.
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.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

State's Taxation Conference speaker profile: Amanda Spinks

Amanda is a Senior Manager and has been in the Employment Taxes practice in Sydney for just over nine years.  In addition to corporate clients, she does a lot of work with government entities and the not-for-profit sector. Amanda specialises in assisting her clients with their people strategies, focusing on taxation. Her key areas of speciality include advisory and compliance for payroll tax, superannuation, PAYG withholding and fringe benefits tax. Amanda also provides extensive advice regarding taxation and reporting obligations for employee share schemes and termination payments, including genuine redundancies.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

Ever since starting my Masters in Accounting ten years ago I have been using the Tax Institute as a resource tool. I also presented a Tax Institute FBT refresher webinar in March this year.

What does the States Taxation Conference mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

At the State Taxes Conference, I will be most interested in the payroll tax sessions. I see it as a valuable opportunity to gain insight into the current approaches being taken by the Revenue Offices. I am also excited to meet like-minded people and share tax war-stories!

What is the topic that you are presenting? And what can attendees expect to learn from your session?

I am co-presenting the topic “Employees, Contractor and Other – Is “wages to an employee” an out-dated concept. We will be looking at how contractors and employees are assessed for payroll tax and how this position has evolved over time.

In addition to dissecting current interpretations of the legislation, we will also be highlighting ways that output from existing tools isn’t necessarily reliable and what to look out for when engaging new workers.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

By being aware of recent developments, delegates will be able to accurately assess their clients’ workers for payroll tax and be able to help with planning opportunities to minimise any compliance burdens.

Which other sessions at the conference are you most interested in attending?

I will have my payroll tax hat on quite firmly for the conference and am particularly interested in the “Inter-Jurisdictional issues” session.

What do you like to do when you’re not knee-deep in tax?

My ideal weekend involves playing outdoors with my two young boys, watching AFL, good wine and dinner with friends.

Join us in Canberra  for The Tax Institute's 15th Annual States Taxation ConferenceWith an expert team of leading tax professionals shaping the content and a growing list of delegates who are amongst the best and brightest in the tax profession, the National Convention is undoubtedly the premier taxation conference in Australia.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Time-management tactics to try this EOFY

Nothing tests your ability to crunch deadlines quite like the end of financial year (EOFY). The weeks leading up to the last day of June are often ruled by mountains of paperwork and an endless series of tasks. However, employing a few clever strategies can preserve your sanity and help you optimise the hours you spend at your desk – especially if it’s your first as a full-time tax professional. Here are four top time-management tactics to apply this EOFY.

1. Embrace the Pomodoro technique

Conceived in the 1980s by the entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro technique is a foolproof trick for enhancing mental clarity and saving time. Using a timer, work solidly on a task for a 25-minute period before rewarding yourself with a five-minute break. Adhering to strict time increments can help you power through your to-do list. It also chases away the urge to procrastinate. And no need to place an egg timer on your desk – there's an app you can download straight to your smartphone.

2. Keep a daily task list

When you’re faced with serious deadlines, it’s important to know what work to tackle first. Whether you prefer to use the to-do list function in Microsoft Outlook or old-fashioned pen and paper, outlining the tasks you need to accomplish each day and ranking them from low priority to high priority is a clever way to take control of your time. Although the power of the to-do list is well documented, it’s equally important to consider the things that can wait until after 30 June. When compiling your daily tasks, strike out the non-essential items and relegate them to a work period that’s lower pressure.

3. Tackle the most challenging task first

When you’re faced with a daunting project complete with administrative hurdles, it’s tempting to put it off. But if you start your day by addressing the most difficult task on your agenda before moving on to less pressing things, you’ll stand a higher chance of managing your time and energy effectively.

4. Batch-process tasks

Multitasking might be a modern phenomenon, but you’ll be far more efficient if you focus on one thing at a time. Whether it’s responding to an overflowing inbox or reconciling urgent accounts, blocking out time to batch-process your duties is a powerful tactic for bolstering productivity and conserving your hours.
From working within short increments to completing your most difficult task first, mastering the art of time management can make for a smooth lead-up towards EOFY. What’s your favourite time-management trick?

Take the next step in your tax career by studying with The Tax Institute.

Find out more

Friday, 19 June 2015

Single Touch Payroll

As previously reported in TaxVine, on 10 June 2015 the Small Business Minister Bruce Billson MP committed to undertake further consultation on the Government's Single Touch Payroll initiative around the 1 July 2016 commencement date and conducting a targeted pilot. Last Friday I attended a consultation with ATO and Treasury to discuss the Institute's thoughts on the revamped approach.

Single Touch Payroll will now only be mandatory in relation to reporting and not in relation to payment obligations. This was one of the main concerns raised by members in relation to the initiative and it has now been addressed. It will be important to ensure that the expected compliance cost savings are maintained despite the separation of payment and reporting obligations.

The proposal to further test the initiative with a pilot program is welcome news, and shows that the Government has taken on board the feedback of smaller businesses and recognised their need for further support and assistance to prepare for Single Touch Payroll. The pilot should bear out whether the initiative is beneficial for very small businesses and closely-held entities who currently do not use payroll software.

Overall the Government's decision to take their foot off the pedal and engage in more consultation on this initiative is a positive step. The Institute supports Single Touch Payroll and can see the benefits it can yield. It is worth taking the time to get it right.

The Institute's written submission in relation to Single Touch Payroll is available here.

There will be a consultation with other key stakeholders next Wednesday 24 June so please contact us at Tax Policy with any further thoughts on this initiative.

Thilini Wickramasuriya FTI is a Tax Counsel of The Tax Institute.

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.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

State's Taxation Conference speaker profile: Tony Ince

Tony has been involved in indirect tax since last century and is a self-described “tax tragic” with a particular interest in Commonwealth/state “vertical fiscal imbalance” and the states capacity to raise tax. With the release of the Tax Reform Discussion Paper, he has been involved with The Tax Institute in preparing a submission.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

More than 25 years (I joined young).

What does the State's Taxation Conference mean to you?

I have been a long time attendee at the Annual States Taxation Conference and see it as means to look at state tax issues. This conference was, I believe, largely responsible for the move to harmonisation of the payroll tax legislation Australia-wide.

What is the topic you are presenting? And, what can attendees expect to learn from your session?

Payroll Tax: Inter-Jurisdictional Issues.

Good question. How much the various state and territory payroll tax legislation have come together in recent years but also the issues that continue to be a concern for employers who have employees in more than one jurisdiction.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

Practically, it will show the pitfalls for employers with employees in more than one jurisdiction. On a higher level, perhaps it will demonstrate the inadequacy of payroll tax and the need for broader tax reform.

Which other sessions at the conference are you most interested in attending?

Employee, Contractor and Other – Is “Wages to an Employee” an Outdated Concept?

What do you like to do when you’re not knee-deep in tax?

Family (we have three delightful granddaughters), and I surf whenever I can. I also enjoy a glass of red wine every now and then for the health benefits. The rest of the bottle is for my witty come-backs and flawless dance moves.

Join us in Canberra  for The Tax Institute's 15th Annual States Taxation ConferenceWith an expert team of leading tax professionals shaping the content and a growing list of delegates who are amongst the best and brightest in the tax profession, the National Convention is undoubtedly the premier taxation conference in Australia.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Tax Institute’s tips to maximise your end-of-financial-year return

Media Release: As the tax year draws to a close The Tax Institute reveals how to maximise your tax return and avoid being targeted by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) ‘hit list’.

Work-related deductions are an excellent way to maximise your tax return, particularly for those who work from home and incur business expenses associated with running a home office.

“If you’ve been spending money to make money, be savvy about claiming the right deductions and maximise your return come June 30,” said Thilini Wickramasuriya, Tax Counsel for The Tax Institute.

“Self-education expenses, mobile phone and internet usage, and travel costs are often deductible expenses, depending on your occupation. Individuals should speak with a professional tax agent to ensure they are across any industry-specific expenses they may be able to claim,” she said.

“Those who carry on a business from home may be able to claim additional deductions for a home office including a portion of rent, interest, repairs, house and contents insurance, rates and property taxes.”

However Ms Wickramasuriya warned against pushing the boundaries with work-related expenses saying the ATO would be comparing your expenses to others within your industry. Individuals trying to claim a deduction in relation to holiday homes and rental properties were another sore point for the ATO and risked landing themselves on the ‘hit list’. The ATO has expanded the number of taxpayers who are eligible to use MyTax this financial year, however The Tax Institute recommends individuals who have used employment termination payments or lump sum payments from their superannuation consult a professional tax agent.

“MyTax is great for self-preparing a straightforward tax return, however advice from a professional tax agent can be invaluable as the law concerning termination and lump sum payments is complex,” said Ms Wickramasuriya.  Small business owners should think about any purchases they want to make for their business before year end, in order to benefit from the instant asset write-off announced at last month’s Federal budget.

“Recent Budget changes mean you should consider buying that piece of equipment you have had your eye on before year-end. The instant asset write-off caps have yo-yoed in recent times from a proposed $6,500 to $1000, to $20,000 which was announced in the Budget and has just passed through the Parliament.”

Ms Wickramasuriya noted that the write-off could also apply to existing depreciation pools, not just new assets.

The Tax Institute also encouraged small business owners who are hoping to benefit from the package of incentives announced as part of the Federal budget to speak with a registered tax agent prior to 30 June. This will help to ensure eligibility for deductions in the current financial year and also to factor in the recent package of changes when planning for the financial year ahead.

“Taxpayers who access business assets for private use are of particular interest to the ATO this financial year.

The Tax Institute recommends keeping up-to-date records of the extent to which you use assets for a business purpose. If you’re not sure whether this applies to you, and the extent of the deduction you should claim for an asset you are using for both business and private purposes, consult a tax professional.”

Ms Wickramasuriya noted the services of a tax professional are tax deductible, and encourages taxpayers to seek help in preparing their tax return if they need it.

Thilini Wickramasuriya FTI is a Tax Counsel of The Tax Institute.

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.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Top tricks for nabbing your dream tax internship

There’s nothing like being able to refer to real-world experience on your CV when looking to kick-start your career. Here’s some advice about competing for – and nabbing – that dream work-placement position.

Try to score with the Big Four

When it comes to internships and graduate tax programs, there's no better place to start than Australia's Big Four: Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and Ernst & Young.

All four have programs for graduates of taxation courses, as well as student programs you can tackle while you’re completing your undergraduate tax training. Check out each company's website for more details – PwC even has a Facebook page, if that's more your style.

But don’t overly narrow your options

Cast your net wider to include places like government organisations and big businesses that have large finance departments. If there’s a particular industry you’d like to go into after completing your taxation education, grab the chance to gather industry-specific work experience.

Have your elevator pitch ready

It’s a competitive world out there, so you won’t get far if you don’t master the art of effective self-promotion well before you start attending networking events or knocking on doors. According to PwC, being able to introduce yourself in a memorable fashion can make all the difference when it comes to securing an internship. They recommend asking yourself three questions to help define your personal brand:
  1. Who are you?
  2. What are your accomplishments, passions, unique skills and strengths?
  3. What do you want, and where are you going?
Prepare for the internship interview

Strange as it may seem, it's your first unpaid job in the tax industry that may have the biggest impact on how your career unfolds. So treat it as seriously as you would a 'real' job interview and do the preparation required to ensure it's you – and not one of the many other applicants – who gets the chance to wedge their foot firmly in the door of a potential employer. KPMG recommends:
  • Spending some time researching the organisation you're applying to
  • Identifying the top three skills or experiences you can bring to the table that other students can’t, and practising communicating them to a recruiter
  • Preparing a few questions to ask your interviewer.
Build a network

Some of the best work placements are never actually advertised. Building a professional network early on in your student career, via social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, can be a clever way to hear about opportunities within the tax industry that you may not otherwise know about. Also, getting away from the computer and books and introducing yourself to professionals at industry events can be a great avenue to start forging relationships.

One last tip – consider investing in more vocationally focused tax courses. Having, for example, a Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law under your belt may provide you with a vital edge over the hordes of other internship-seekers. It's never too early to start shining! the next step in your tax career with the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law 

Find out more

Budget changes introduced to parliament

In the last two issues of TaxVine, we notified members that two Bills introducing some of the small business concessions from this year's Budget were introduced into Parliament. They are Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Measures No 1) Bill 2015 which captures the cut to the company tax rate to 28.5% for small business companies and Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Measures No 2) Bill 2015 which makes changes to the accelerated depreciation provisions.

The Bills passed relatively seamlessly through the House of Representatives and are due to be introduced into the Senate when Parliament resumes sitting next week. The big question is whether they will pass the Senate unscathed before Parliament rises at the end of the Winter sitting on 25 June. Hot on their heels are likely to be Bills introducing the rest of the measures due to start soon – mainly the tax offset (the 5% discount capped at $1,000) for business income from unincorporated entities, the change to FBT for work-related expenses and deductibility for professional expenses incurred at start-up. We will notify members through future issues of TaxVine when this happens.

This week, we lodged our submission on multinational tax avoidance in response to the Exposure Draft issued on Budget night. A copy of our submission can be found here.

We are also working on our submission in response to the other exposure draft issued on Budget night in relation to the proposed GST integrity measure.

We also made a submission to the Senate Inquiry on the proposed taxation of employee share scheme rule changes. A copy of our submission is available on our website.

The progression of this year's Budget measures seems to be occurring at lightning speed compared to the glacial pace at which some of last year's Budget measures progressed. Let's hope this continues.

Stephanie Caredes CTA is a Tax Counsel of The Tax Institute.

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.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Press Release: Marking 10 years in providing education, The Tax Institute expands professional tax education modules

Australia’s leading association of tax professionals, The Tax Institute, has released a suite of new education modules for tax professionals to coincide with its 10th anniversary as an education provider this month.

Initially launched in 2005 to combat skills shortages within the taxation profession, The Tax Institute is today the premier professional education provider in Australia with more than eight industry-specific courses, including the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law.

Chief Executive Officer for The Tax Institute, Noel Rowland, said the Institute’s most recent educational offering recognised the evolving nature of taxation practice in Australia and internationally.

“The Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law is designed specifically to equip its graduates with the necessary skills to meet the challenges of the future,” Mr Rowland said.

“As Australia’s leading professional tax association, The Tax Institute is one of the only professional bodies to offer its students relevant practical experience with working taxation professionals, whilst gaining the requisite qualifications.”

The Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law offered at the Institute is rapidly becoming the chosen post-graduate course for tax professionals. Global professional services firm KPMG is one of a number of top-tier financial and accountancy practices that utilise the Institute’s education offerings.

As well as meeting the educational and eligibility requirements to practice within Australia, each course offered at The Tax Institute provides individuals and experienced professionals with up-to-date information, detailed understanding and practical application of tax law in Australia.

“The scope of The Tax Institute’s educational offering has certainly developed over the past 10 years, and is in direct response to the changing nature of taxation practice in Australia and around the world,” Mr Rowland said.

“The Tax Institute has worked with industry partners from government and business to ensure each course encourages a high level of thinking and greater professional development for the taxation and financial services industry.”

The Tax Institute’s education offering includes courses in Commercial Law, Taxation Law as well as Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) Program and regular tax research sessions, designed for new graduates and working tax professionals.

The Tax Institute is also the only Australian organisation to offer the international CTA designation, which gives tax professionals greater flexibility to work globally in their field.

The Tax Institute has over 70 years’ experience as Australia’s leading educator and professional association in tax. The Tax Institute provides training and education, knowledge products and internationally recognised CTA designation that enhances the credentials of its 15,000 members.

State's Taxation Conference speaker profile: Peter Cain

Following a career as a teacher, Peter was admitted as a legal practitioner in the ACT in 2002, followed soon after by entry to the practitioners’ register of the High Court. That year he began working with ACT Treasury in the Revenue Management Division. As Manager of Objection and Appeals, he is responsible with internal reviews of, and subsequent appeals regarding, tax assessments, first home owner grant decisions and unimproved values of land for rates purposes. He is regularly engaged in policy and legislative reviews of ACT revenue laws. Peter is also the Chair of the ACT Law Society’s Government Law Committee.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I am an occasional attendee The Tax Institute's Annual Conventions.

What is the topic that you are presenting? And what can attendees expect to learn from your session?

State Taxes Legislative Update. attendees can expect to gain an insight into the reasons for legislative change as well as the repercussions of such changes.

What new or hot topics will you cover?

I hope to provide an overview of changes during 2014-15 to each jurisdiction’s tax legislation.

How will attending your session help delegates help their clients?

This session will allow delegates to see what causes a State or Territory to review and amended its tax legislation.

Which other sessions at the conference are you most interested in attending?

I’m particularly interested in how the legislatures and courts have responded to reviews of and disputes concerning the major State and Territory taxes.

What do you like to do when you’re not knee-deep in tax?

I enjoy my family, good food and wine, home gardening, backyard chickens and being involved with the local legal profession.  I’m also an admirer of all things science fiction and an enquirer into how humanity fits within this wonderful universe.

Join us in Canberra  for The Tax Institute's 15th Annual States Taxation ConferenceWith an expert team of leading tax professionals shaping the content and a growing list of delegates who are amongst the best and brightest in the tax profession, the National Convention is undoubtedly the premier taxation conference in Australia.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

10 Year Education Milestone

This year marks 10 years of The Tax Institute providing quality tax education. Find out more about our education journey.


The key to acing group assignment

A simple Google image search for “group assignment meme” reveals a deep-seated cynicism about the value of group work.

Indeed, an Australian study found that more than half of students had reservations about group assignments, citing “inequality in the contribution of members” as the top reason for frustration. Further, awarding marks without recognition of individual effort merely rubbed salt into a wound opened by weeks of conflict and broken promises.

But with many advanced postgraduate tax courses, such as The Tax Institute's Graduate Diploma of Applied Law, featuring group work as part of their assessment, how can you approach the task in a more relaxed manner – especially when it is perceived that a colleague or fellow student is not pulling their weight? Below are a few simple planning rules to make the path to group work smoother.

Appoint a leader

If the purpose of group work is to simulate real life, then start off on the right foot by appointing a leader. The leader should have a bird’s-eye view of the entire project, fairly dividing the tasks, the order of work and setting reasonable deadlines. If a broken deadline impacts on the work of another team member, this should be negotiated through the leader to minimise conflict.

Clearly define roles

Set clear, reasonable goals and timelines that are shared by the whole group. Be realistic about what can be achieved and be upfront about current commitments. Have clearly described, specific roles that address each part of the set criteria, and ensure everyone understands how their part fits into the overall project.

Meet regularly

Meet face to face at least one hour per week as a group. It is amazing what regular deadlines can do for progress, but the inverse is also true. Waiting until the final deadline to summon an emergency meeting often ends in unanswered calls, sudden illness and piles of frustration.

Dealing with the shirker

Inevitably, there will be someone who is just not pulling his or her weight. Resolving problems quickly is not easy, but it is important. Don’t get personal. Simply draw attention to the prior shared agreements and address problems of missed deadlines or quality as they arise. Listen carefully to the point of view of the other person and try to arrive at a reasonable agreement to move on.

The satisfaction of sharing ideas and achieving a collective goal far outweighs the despair felt by many at the announcement of a group assignment. By keeping these tips in mind when tackling such tasks, you'll enjoy an early taste of the teamwork and collaboration you'll experience once you've entered the workforce.

Take the next step in your tax career by studying with The Tax Institute.

Find out more

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Your essential TPB registration checklist

To evolve your career as a registered tax agent, you must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). That means you’ll need to meet certain education and experience requirements, and a university degree alone isn’t enough to tick all the boxes. Be on the look-out for tax-training packages that match the TPB requirements and offer a bridge from university study to registration as a registered tax agent.

Here’s what you need to do to get your TPB registration sorted.

Review the following table at

Complete a primary qualification

To qualify for TPB registration, you must complete a degree or diploma in finance, commerce or accounting from an Australian tertiary institution or TPB-approved registered training organisation.

Complete a course in Australian taxation and commercial law

After successfully earning your primary qualification, your next step is to complete TPB-approved courses in Australian taxation and commercial law. The Tax Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law meets all TPB requirements and combines practical and technical skills with high-level academic knowledge so you can face the challenges of a constantly changing tax environment.

Complete relevant work experience

If you have completed a relevant degree from an Australian tertiary institution or equivalent, you’ll need to demonstrate 12 months’ full-time experience within the last five years. If you’ve completed a relevant diploma from a registered training organisation or equivalent, you’ll need to demonstrate two years’ full-time experience within the last five years.

Why turn to The Tax Institute for support?

A recent ATO foresight report titled Systemic Drivers of Change revealed that the complexity of the tax system is set to intensify in the coming decade. That means the modern accounting professional must be equipped with a more sophisticated skill set than the traditional suburban accountant.

According to Ruth Ferraro, General Manager of education at The Tax Institute, tax professionals must look beyond the diploma and advanced diploma levels of study to the higher graduate diploma level in order to face the complex challenges of tomorrow.

“The diploma and advanced diploma levels of learning are all very well for delivering and assessing most technical accounting content, except when it comes to tax,” she says. “Take Part IVA and anti-tax avoidance, for example – this is the domain of highly experienced lawyers and much more equal to postgraduate levels of learning.

“Knowing the complexity and intellectual activity that being a proficient and capable tax professional requires, and knowing how much is riding on the advice our members give clients, The Tax Institute has developed its Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law equal to that level of learning.”

Learn more about how The Tax Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law can help prepare you for a career as a registered tax agent.

Maintaining your professional skills

Oh, and when you are fully registered as a tax agent and are required to complete your CPD … we’ll have a complete range of resources and information services to support you.

Want to find out more? Why not undertake the TASA 2009 and Code of Professional Conduct online course. This is a standalone course that navigates this essential part of the legislation and regulations.

Take the next step in your tax career by studying with The Tax Institute.

Find out more

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Preparing for a career in corporate tax

To borrow a phrase from Zoolander, corporate tax is “so hot right now”. With the tax minimisation arrangements of the big end of town in the spotlight and change in the wind, there's never been a better time to conquer this area of the taxation industry. Here are some tips for those interested in doing so.

Get the right qualifications

Needless to say, an organisation facing a tax bill in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars isn’t going to hire any old suburban accountant to take care of their books. The right tax-training course can set you up with the know-how you'll need and ensure you stand out from the graduate crowd. Aside from all the other facets it covers, the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law at The Tax Institute includes a subject that provides students with a comprehensive understanding of how public companies, private companies and corporate groups are taxed in Australia.

Line up an internship

Getting your foot in the door is often half the battle when it comes to a career in corporate tax. While the big firms like KPMG and PwC offer well-regarded internship programs, it's also worth looking at the Australian Taxation Office and the finance internships offered by many of the nation's largest companies, such as Telstra and Google.

Know how to network

What you know is undeniably important in the field of corporate tax law, but so is who you know. It’s wise to establish relationships with people working in the industry well before putting the hard word on them for an internship or graduate position. You can do this by asking individuals if they’d be willing to meet you for coffee, joining LinkedIn groups and attending industry events, of which The Tax Institute has a great list.

Do your research

You don’t want to be left speechless when a potential employer starts quizzing you on your thoughts about the pros and cons of a “Google tax” or be caught searching the buffet for that “double Irish Dutch sandwich” you overheard someone talking about. Ernst & Young has a handy summary of corporate tax regimes around the globe, including Australia, while the federal government recently launched a campaign dubbed Re:think to spruik its vision for the future of corporate tax. It makes for useful reading along with some other useful background information.

If you’re willing to put in the effort – both before and after being offered a position ­– you can enjoy an interesting and well-salaried career in the field of corporate tax.