Deputy Commissioner, ATO, on opening the door to your future career

Jeremy Geale, CTA and Deputy Commissioner for Review and Dispute Resolution at the ATO, on why education is “crucial.”

We caught up with Jeremy at the 34th National Convention in Hobart this year.

“Some of the top insights I've taken away from the convention so far is, one, just the importance of meeting and talking to colleagues across the business and getting different perspectives,” he says.
“And the other is just taking some time to think about some of the bigger issues and refresh your own thoughts.”

We asked Jeremy how the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) designation has helped his career.
“The CTA designation, throughout my career, has helped me do some of the things which I really enjoy doing,” he says.

“Firstly, it's allowed me to talk and meet with colleagues at conferences like we're at today, and it's also allowed me to mentor and develop other staff.

Jeremy says that structured education has played a critical part in his development.

“When I first started off in my career, it really gave me the initial sets of tools to work in tax and help businesses, and my clients, and other colleagues, in terms of solving tax issues,” he explains.

“Over time, it's helped me continue to develop, take on more senior roles, and also broaden the types of businesses and the areas in which I practice in.”

Solving life and death issues
What Jeremy enjoys most about tax is solving complex problems and helping people.

“In my area, this is particularly relevant in the small business space at the moment, where a lot of my teams are helping small businesses solve life or death decisions,” he says.

“Really getting to understand the cause of these problems and working with them to address that.”
Jeremy thinks the future of tax will be very exciting.

“We're obviously going to see technological change and that means that we'll have to do things differently,” he points out.

“But at the same time, it also means that the things which have made us be successful in the past; that ability to think about things in an analytical way will still be critical.”

Membership introduced him to future ATO boss

Jeremy says being a member of The Tax Institute has really opened doors for him throughout his career.

“It's through events like the National Convention that I've had the opportunity to present papers and show my thoughts and demonstrate my thought leadership,” he says.

“It’s also where I met future bosses, such as Andrew Mills (Second Commissioner – Law Design and Practice) and other colleagues.”

Early skill development pays dividends in the future

Jeremy’s advice for new tax practitioners is to “work hard early in your career to build that toolbox because that pays dividends throughout your career.”

“Remember that the people you meet today are going to be your colleagues throughout the future, so help and support them, and enjoy the journey,” he adds.


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