Monday, 14 April 2014

The road less travelled: Tax and sport

The road less travelled: Tax and sport
Cameron Barber is the director of MGI South Queensland. His clients include high-wealth individuals, small to medium enterprises and consolidated groups, and he has a special interest in family owned and operated businesses. In addition to industries such as property, building and construction, retail and hospitality, Cameron specialises in providing tax advice to professionals in the sports sector.

How did you become a tax professional?

I started out completing a business degree and really enjoyed the tax module, so post-university I completed the Institute of Chartered Accountants program then got straight into the Master of Taxation qualification at the University of New South Wales. Now I attend as many of The Tax Institute seminars as I can to keep up to date with issues relevant to our clients.

One of your specialisations is managing the tax affairs of people in the sports industry. How did that come about?

Cameron Barber
It really wasn’t something that I set out to do. I was initially referred some sports professionals by a contact, then we became known for expertise in the industry and were getting referrals from coaches, managers and other sports professionals across different codes. The MGI network across Australia now acts for many elite sports professionals.

How do the tax affairs of people in the sports industry differ from people with more 'regular' jobs?

Our sports professional clients often move between countries and tax jurisdictions, and have business interests and investments all over the world, so residency and source are always relevant. There are expenses that are particular to that industry and it’s important to correctly structure their different interests.

Has your interest in certain sports increased because of your clients?

Yes, absolutely. As with most clients, you develop a close relationship with them, so seeing someone you work with on TV or in the papers (for the right reasons) adds to the interest in the game.

What does a typical day for you look like?

In respect to sports professionals, they generally lead busy and demanding lives so rely heavily on their professional advisors. This often means liaising with their management, financiers, lawyers, insurers and investment advisors on a daily basis. We often assist with tasks completely unrelated to tax.

What's your favourite part of the job?

The variety of issues you can face on a day-to-day basis and the satisfaction you get from delivering the best possible outcome for your client.

What advice would you give to tax professionals who want to specialise in the sports industry?

You truly are a trusted advisor, so know the issues they face and be prepared to assist in non-tax-related advisory.

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