10. Accounting and tax.


Ahh the wonderful world of tax, people ask “what do you do?” You say “I’m an accountant”, this usually leads to someone asking you tax questions; when I was younger I used to feel embarrassed at not knowing the answers to their question but now I realise I need to just correct them and let them know there are different types of accountants or I just say “I work in finance” avoiding the word ‘accountant’ all together. 

Why have I given you that pointless introduction? For a simple reasons not all accountants are tax experts, some accountants will have a good understanding of the basics and can do a company return based on results but when you are talking about Tax avoidance (WHICH IS LEGAL BY THE WAY), you’re average accountant won’t know the more intricate schemes, this is down to someone who specialises in tax.

BTW: I have no qualms with Tax avoidance despite the cries of public my view is simple, fix the laws, I do not believe for a second if regular PAYE employees could find areas to cut their tax bill they wouldn’t, tax shaming is ridiculous and this body who gives people a stamp to say they are tax moral is nothing more than glorified virtue signalling and does not deal with the problem, we should not need a body for this crud, pressure should be applied at the right place i.e. with those in charge of laws to sort this out, I read article after article hampering on about moral this, accountants image being effected and I think what a bunch of parrot zombies. Rant over.

If you specialise in tax returns you are usually not the person who prepares the accounts, but you are the person who asks the right questions and gets the right answers! Any specialism in accounting takes work but Tax carries an extra burden as we all know what happens when you get this wrong.

If you wish to be a tax account remember you are going to need to study annually to maintain your knowledge, this is more than your usual CPD stuff to maintain your qualification, as you can’t afford to not know what is coming!

If tax is what you want to do but you have no knowledge of tax or accounting then start with the ATT qualification, if you’re already working in account have a AAT/ACCA etc then study the CTA, the CTA is the highest tax qualification in the UK at present.

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