here - The Association of Taxation Technicians

A Career in Tax
[Insert name and info of the member
giving the presentation and the
Who would want to work in tax?
Who would want to work in tax?
• The tax profession is full of
the most charming,
eloquent, intelligent &
modest people you could
wish to meet!
My Career
• [if desired, presenter to insert background or speak to the
following points:]
• My educational career (school / university / degree / or
• My first job
• My first tax job
• My qualifications (tax, accountancy, other)
• My current role(s)
• My current and former clients (where and if relevant)
• My “thing I wish I knew then that I know now” nugget for
you to share
What is it about tax?
• The tax industry is an incredibly stable profession,
regardless of boom or bust, depression, recession
or growth.
• People often joke about death and taxes being the
only thing you can count on in life!
• After all, regardless of the economic climate – the
government still collects taxes.
• The UK has the most complex tax system in the
• Guide just for students!
Tax and Society
• Tax is collected from every person or
organisation which receives or buys something
of value. For example: salary, business revenue,
fuel, inheritance, home, etc.
• Tax is then used to pay for a wide variety of
public services.
• The Government has a website you can visit for
more information to better understand tax:
Where taxes come from
• There are many types of tax that contribute to the UK Government budget.
They include:
• Income Tax A personal tax on your personal income, above a certain amount.
That income usually includes wages, pensions and interest on savings.
• Corporation Tax Paid by companies on their profits.
• Excise Duties There are various excise duties – they include Car Tax and tax on
goods such as alcohol and tobacco.
• Value Added Tax (VAT) You pay VAT when you buy goods and services in the
European Union (EU), including the UK. It's normally included in the price of
the goods or service you buy. VAT is not payable on some things.
• Council Tax Helps pay for local services like policing and rubbish collection. It’s
a tax on the value or size of the home you live in whether owned or rented.
• People also pay National Insurance contributions. This is the money you pay to
build up your entitlement to state benefits such as Jobseekers’ Allowance,
Incapacity Benefit and the State Pension.
In’s and Out’s of tax in the
Taxes and the Moral Issues
• So the money is collected in through taxes and then
the government spends it? That’s the theory, but it
isn’t that straightforward!
• Some people make mistakes and don't pay the right
amount of tax. Tax professionals and HMRC spend a
lot of time helping people to get their tax right.
• Not everyone plays by the rules.
• The moral dimension – considerable media
discussion. Have you been aware of the publicity
around Starbucks and Amazon this year?
Why a need for tax jobs?
• Politicians decide on the taxes and pass them into
law (Finance Bill is decided every year)
• Someone has to take the law and decide how much
tax people should pay (HMRC)
• Someone has to collect the taxes due (HMRC)
• Some people need help figuring out how much tax
to pay so they go to specialists who are tax
technicians and tax advisers
• Organisations need to have people working for
them who know about taxes to figure out and pay
the taxes that are due
Benefits of a Career in Tax
• Fast changing industry – tax law is updated every year
with the Finance Bill, combined with European and
international law changes means that working in taxes
offers a highly stable, secure and high paying career
• Everyone is subject to taxes – individuals and businesses
all require advice and supportive from tax professionals to
comply with tax laws
• Tax is jurisdictional – means that UK tax is only relevant to
UK tax payers which means there will be jobs in the UK
• Increasingly cultural diverse population of tax
professionals who are entering the field and climbing
their own ladder of success.
Where do tax people work?
• The growing number of taxes and government
regulations means that there is a growing
demand for people to enter and develop their
careers in the tax field
• Business (local, national and international)
• Running your own tax business
• HM Revenue & Customs and local government
• Advisory companies (tax consultancies,
accountancy firms, legal firms)
• Television, journalism and the wider media
Some Employers
Business and Industry
Professional Services
Will I like working in tax?
Are you?
• Detail oriented? Is everything in your life organised? Are
you methodical? Do you enjoy order and process? Are
you a good record keeper?
Or are you?
• Creative and strategic? Do you like to find new ways to
do things? Do you enjoy games like chess or Risk? Do
you enjoy story problems in school? Do you enjoy
creating and executing strategy and achieving success?
Or are you?
• Team builder? Do you help others to achieve things
together? Do you enjoy coordinating and leading? Do
you interact well with all types of people?
What qualities do good tax
professionals have?
• Numerate but not math geeks
• Entrepreneurial- lateral thinking / problem solving
• Empathetic – you are dealing with other people’s taxes
and finances so need to understand them and their issues
• Literate – able to write reasonably well
• Presentable
• Reliable
• Ability to convey complex information in a simple manner
suitable for the client
• Able to use IT and office systems, particularly Excel and
• Motivated to do well
What would I actually do?
A tax trainee typically starts out with training to show you how to do basic
duties such as entering client information into a tax preparation software
program. Then, under supervision, progress on to:
Preparation of tax accounting calculations
Analysis of data
Carry out tax research and summarise findings
Meet clients as part of the tax team
Learning about corporation tax and helping businesses comply
Learn about PAYE and draft PAYE advice
Respond to HMRC correspondence and assisting with enquiries
Preparation of tax notes for accounts and reporting
Respond to queries from finance functions and auditors
Study for professional qualifications (ATT, CTA or others)
The Rewards - What can a job
in tax offer me?
Intellectual stimulation – never being bored!
Early responsibility
Job satisfaction
A key role in the financial world
Excellent remuneration and prospects
Involvement with people
The flexibility to work in a variety of different
How Much Money Can I Make
in Tax?
(2012 figures)
Myths stopping you from a
great tax career
Myth 1: I will have to work with numbers all day. Reality: Problem solving, interacting with people,
communication and understanding business is the most important. Working with numbers can be a
small part of the job.
Myth 2: I will have to work long hours during tax season. Reality: Yes, but they are predictable and you
can schedule your holidays and other commitments around them.
Myth 3: Tax changes all the time. Reality: True but that is what makes it interesting. Most of the tax laws
remain the same so when you have a good foundation in tax – changes keep it interesting
Myth 4: I will have to work with auditors and other people who don’t understand tax. Reality: In tax
there is a lot of room for error and mistakes are costly. Your work will be reviewed by numerous people
which is a regular part of the job. This is why communication skills are also important.
Myth 5: You have to spend a lot of time and money to become a qualified tax professional. Reality:
There is no question that a prestigious profession takes time, money and work. However if you want to
greatly expand your job opportunities and earn money – it’s worth it.
Myth 6: It takes too long to qualify as a tax professional. Reality: Actually, in as little as two years,
working part-time or full-time in a tax role, and passing five exams, you can then become a Tax
Technician and member of the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT). And if you want to continue
on, work for a minimum total of three years, pass four more exams, you can then also become a
Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) and member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).
Why work towards a
professional qualification?
• Badge of quality
• Professional esteem and status
• Gain the knowledge, skills and ability faster than
just working and learning on the job
• Better job prospects – improve your employability
• Ethics - Code of ethics is assumed if you belong to a
professional body – fundamental principles:
Professional competence and due care
Professional behaviour
What is the role of a
professional body?
Protection of the public
Acting as the voice of the
Providing networking
Interaction with other
professional bodies
Helping to ensure the right
amount of tax is paid
Leading the debate
Badge of quality
Input into policy and
operational implementation
Support for members
• Standards
• Practical guidance and advice
• Access to resources
The only UK professional tax
The leading professional body
for qualified taxation technicians
who provide UK tax compliance
services and related activities
The leading professional body concerned
solely with taxation. Members have the
practicing title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’
Entry Requirements
How it works
Want to know more?
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