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Careers in tax

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Specialist tax knowledge is essential to every business.

With lots of changes to legislation, the economic climate is ripe for new tax professionals.

In this week's episode of our Learn Better Podcast, host Stuart Pedley Smith, Head of Learning at Kaplan, discusses careers in tax, and the routes you can take towards this area of finance.

Our guest is Neil Da Costa, Senior Tax Tutor at Kaplan, well known for the advice and resources he provides his students. Neil explains his personal journey into a career in tax, what makes tax professionals so important to businesses, and how the specialised knowledge can help to futureproof your earning potential.

With there being so many different routes into tax, Neil details how each qualification can help you become a tax professional. Relevant to those who are either starting out in finance or already working through a qualification.

The current economic climate is ripe for additional tax specialists.

- Neil Da Costa

Key topics

What drew Neil towards a career in tax?

Neil originally wanted to be a doctor, but after reassessing his options after A Levels he decided a career in Finance would be more productive.

Whilst training as an accountant he was exposed to many different areas of finance but tax computations specifically appealed to him. He enjoyed that every computation was different and that you really needed to understand the clients needs as well as their history.

During his training he requested more work in tax to further develop his knowledge in this area. After qualifying Neil decided he wanted to become a tutor, but specifically in tax.

I could see what tangible benefits proper tax advice can offer.

- Neil Da Costa

Is now a good time to get into tax?

With many new regulations coming into play businesses are having to clearly segment the different parts of their operations, drawing more need for tax specialists.

It is important for companies to have tax advisors who can stay on top of the legislation changes and provide them with the relevant advice for their needs.

With more digital and AI developments, many people are questioning whether computers will replace them in the workplace. Due to the specialised knowledge that is needed from tax professionals, this path can help you to future proof your career.

Attributes of a tax professional

  • Attention to detail - You need to be able to focus and pick up all aspects of a client's circumstances.

  • Good communication - You need to be able to communicate clearly with both the client and HMRC.

  • Open to learning new ways of doing things - Every tax advisor knows that they don’t know everything, and so it's important to be humble and open to consistently learning new things.

  • Desire to be challenged - Legislation can be very technical and it is important to take the time to understand it.

Practicalities of learning about tax

Whether you are starting out on your journey in finance, midway through or finishing a finance qualification, there are multiple pathways into tax.

Neil explains how each qualification can help you towards your career in tax including: AAT, ATT, ACCA, ACA, CIMA and CTA (the gold standard for tax professionals). Recommending that if you are planning on doing the CTA following one of the other qualifications that you should already be working in tax.

These are academic qualifications on one level…but there is already an implication that they sit alongside the practical work experience.

- Stuart Pedley Smith

Interested in learning more?

Tune in now to listen to the full conversation (episode 15) and learn more about careers in tax and which routes you can take to develop your knowledge.