Friday 13 June 2014

How to select a tax specialisation

One of the benefits of having a career in the tax sector is being able to specialise in your area of interest. Here’s an overview of some things you need to know before choosing your focus.
A career in tax is versatile, but to optimise its versatility you first need to figure out what you want. Do you want to earn more or travel more? Are there particular lifestyle benefits you're keen on? What about political influence and meeting people? The industry you choose will determine the benefits and challenges you'll have.

Property and investment

Specialising in the ins and outs of property and investment tax issues will lead you to people who are interested in making money, including high-net-worth individuals and wealth-creation organisations.
Great for: Earning potential.
An ageing population, the increase in self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and the complex tax issues around super all mean tax specialists in this area are in high demand. Expect to handle everything from super tax returns to SMSF structures and estate planning.
Great for: Job stability.

There is a wide range of roles in the corporate tax sector – from audit and compliance to consultancy and advisory – and most will involve meeting with clients and working in teams on specific jobs. This environment is very supportive of graduates and you'll find that plenty of opportunities will present themselves, especially as all corporate firms and many of their clients are multinational.
Great for: Travel and international exposure.

The beauty of understanding business tax is that your skills can be applied to almost any organisation, from not-for-profits to sole traders. Each industry has its own particular challenges, for example special exemptions and deductions for artists paired with the instability and breadth of their income streams. Many tax specialists find this work rewarding as it both helps businesses and provides interesting challenges.
Great for: Job satisfaction.
Policy and analysis

Interested in the mechanism of tax? Perhaps policy and analysis is the specialisation for you. A role as an economist or analyst drives everything from political platforms to tax-system reform. If you want to spearhead change as a thought leader on tax, this is your area.
Great for: Prestige and influence.
The tax industry provides steady work and a variety of roles, which is a big draw for students and graduates looking to test their skills in different areas of interest. Choosing a specialisation does require a little research so you can match its benefits and challenges to your skills, needs and interests for a satisfying career.
Read more about these areas of specialisation below:

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