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Counting the pennies; Careers in ... tax advice Dealing with the taxman can be a rewarding career choice as Emma Thompson discovers.

Byline: Emma Thompson

What does a career as a tax adviser involve? As a tax adviser, it would be your job to make sure that your clients pay the correct amount of tax at the right time. You would also advise clients on the best way to structure their finances to avoid paying too much tax in the future. Clients could include multinational companies, smaller businesses and individuals.

You would usually specialise in either compliance - calculating how much tax is due and completing tax returns - or consultancy - advising clients on ways to reduce the amount of tax they have to pay.

Key tasks include: meeting clients and collecting information; checking and completing tax returns; auditing records; liaising and negotiating with HM Revenue and Custom on the client's behalf; keeping up to date with tax law.

What skills are needed? Excellent maths and computer skills are essential as well as analytical thinking and problemsolving skills. You need the ability to meet deadlines and work well under pressure and show excellent attention to detail.

What training do you need? You must become a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) to work as a chartered tax adviser.

To register, you would either need to be a member of the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT); have an approved accountancy qualification; be a qualified solicitor or company secretary; or have in-house qualifications and experience from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

You do not need set qualifications to start studying to become an ATT-qualified taxation technician. However, most employers will expect at least some GCSEs (A-C) and, in practice, many tax advisers have higher qualifications in business, accountancy or law.

After you have qualified with the ATT you can apply for student membership of CIOT and take further exams for chartered tax adviser status.

What are the opportunities for career progression? Once in work, you will learn on the job from qualified tax advisers and study for the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification from the CIOT.

You should keep up to date with changes in tax laws throughout your career. With experience, you could become a self-employed tax consultant.

What is the salary? (Guideline) Starting pounds 19,000 to pounds 25,000; part-qualified, pounds 25,000 to pounds 35,000; fully-qualified Chartered Tax Adviser pounds 35,000 to pounds 50,000.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 19, 2012
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