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Taxation is unique in that it offers numerous different career opportunities for those from a variety of backgrounds. Tax advisers offer advice to large companies, small businesses and individuals on all sorts of tax issues, from the implications of buying and selling a business to inheritance tax. As a result the role of a tax adviser can offer a great deal of client contact as well as early responsibility, diverse opportunities and high rewards.
The main employers are large accountancy practices, like the Big Four (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers), but there are also opportunities in medium and small accountancy practices, law firms, banking and in industry. The type of work a tax adviser does depends on their employer as well as the area of tax they deal with. If you were working for a large firm you would be likely to specialise in a single area, whereas working for a smaller practice would require broader knowledge.
Individuals wanting to pursue a career in tax would usually take the CIOTs CTA (Chartered Tax Adviser) examination. The usual route for graduates is to firstly register with the Institutes sister body, The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) and complete the Associations examinations. On passing these examinations they are eligible to sit the Institutes CTA examination. Alternatively students can firstly complete a law or accounting qualification, before continuing to the CTA examination. Once students have passed the CTA examination and completed three years relevant experience they are eligible to become full members of the Institute, and enjoy the benefits that come with this qualification Ã» a substantial rise in salary is usually one of the most appreciated!
A tax adviser needs to be numerate with good communication skills, and should enjoy a challenge as well as solving problems. They also need to be adaptable, as the tax environment is always changing, and a tax adviser needs to be up to date and ready to advise their client on todays situation.
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