A career in tax is a fascinating and rewarding one. Yet it is often overlooked by university students. Tax has allowed me to combine my interests in business and public administration.
I work in transfer pricing, an area concerned with the allocation of profits across tax jurisdictions according to where value is added (“dividing the pie”).
I grew up in Adelaide where I studied law, international studies and Japanese at the University of Adelaide. My love of travel led me to undertake exchange studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. So for me, applying Australian tax law in an international context is a perfect fit. Often my team and I work with Deloitte professionals in offices all around the world.
In my first year I worked on dispute resolution and avoidance, compliance and advisory work involving large and medium sized multinational clients in industries ranging from information technology to infant formula. My work requires a deep understanding of our client’s business, their industry and their plans for the future. To do this, we spend a lot of time talking to our clients.
It is an exciting time to work in transfer pricing and tax more broadly. High-profile media coverage and international reform efforts (i.e. the OECD’s work on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, or BEPs) have created a new environment for businesses to navigate. Now more than ever, companies are looking to their tax advisers for assistance.
A highlight for me has been working with a large US-based multinational to try secure an Advance Pricing Arrangement (APA) with the ATO. An APA enables a multinational company to obtain certainty over tax outcomes for their business. The ATO benefits by achieving its goal of securing taxpayer compliance proactively without the need for time consuming audits and dispute processes. Due to the complexity of the business, the amount of tax under discussion, and the high-profile nature of the company concerned, negotiations have been challenging and stimulating.
Tax welcomes those with diverse technical backgrounds. I love the fact that I work with people who studied economics, accounting, law, finance and even engineering and psychology. All of these disciplines are useful – so don’t be put off by the misconception that you need to be an accountant to work in tax.
Speaking of the people I work with, we have a lot of fun together. We socialise outside of work hours, have team lunches and each year there is a quiz tournament, which sees the different tax teams compete against each other over a number of months until a winner is determined in a grand-final round. It gets very competitive and there are a lot of laughs.
Student programs are currently open for our Tax teams nationally: http://yourfuture.deloitte.com.au/site/landing