Globalisation is creating a connected and dynamic business world. One where professionals who have a deep understanding of the ever-evolving domestic and international taxation systems are highly regarded and valued, making a Master of Taxation a wise career investment.
"Every transaction in commerce has a potential tax outcome, and for businesses to be successful, operators need to understand what the tax implications may be for certain decisions," says Gordon Mackenzie, Senior Lecturer for the School of Taxation and Business Law at UNSW Business School.
"To understand tax outcomes, businesses need professionals who are highly skilled. Tax professionals who are in demand know and apply the tax rules, but what sets them apart is that they have a deep understanding of why the rules are there."
Now, if I get a curly question from a client, I know how to efficiently navigate through the legislation to determine the appropriate answer.
FM Mahar & Associates
They understand navigating tax legislation
Frederick Mahar, Managing Principal of FM Mahar & Associates, is very comfortable with tax legislation, but this wasn't always the case.
"After completing the Master of Taxation, I have the ability to determine what the Treasury, via the legislation and regulations, is trying to achieve,” he says.
"That's given me a whole new level of confidence. Now, if I get a curly question from a client, I know how to efficiently navigate through the legislation to determine the appropriate answer."
"Being able to critically think about a transaction provides better tax outcomes for our clients."
Knowing international tax law opens career opportunities
"There's hardly a business in Australia that doesn’t intersect with international suppliers and providers," says Gordon.
"The complexity is enormous but once professionals know and can correctly apply tax laws, they can integrate the new rules when they change."
Learning about international taxation systems gave Katrina Brown, Practice Director and Senior Lawyer with Nautilus Law, a depth of understanding she hadn't previously experienced.
"The exposure in the program was not limited to the phenomenal breadth of Australian tax, but also to the taxation and funding systems in overseas jurisdictions," she says.
"Our group projects and remote student conferences involved Australian and overseas professional students, who debated and shared their jurisdictional systems and reasoning."
"We could discuss why our governments raised revenue from one source of income versus another and/or provided support in one form or another – the contrasts and depth of discussion was second to none."
"The teaching professionals facilitated and participated in these discussions, which helped not only practical application, but also theoretical understanding."
They develop broader skills
While understanding tax theory is vital for a successful taxation career, developing broader skills was imperative for Frederick to develop his accounting firm's offerings. He says he now feels confident in high-level discussions with "any level of client", and that his advisory work has never been more in demand.
Katrina agrees, saying, "Personally and professionally, it is difficult to express how significantly the program has impacted me."
"Shareholder agreements, business structuring, commercial sales, estate planning – the entire breadth of legal practice has just expanded for me."
"Not only can I help clients plan for the 'legal issues', but I can also help clients explore complex tax and financial structuring issues. This has an impact on how a legal issue is dealt with and governs how resolutions are reached."
They think bigger than tax
Katrina now works almost entirely in tax and financial planning, which is her passion. But, her postgraduate qualification was not just about tax.
"Whether you're a lawyer, an accountant or a financial planner, the Master of Taxation exposes you to what you don’t know," she says.
"In this age of 'digital disruption', the necessity of specialists cannot be understated."
“In every professional field, we’re seeing automation of repetitive and/or low skill work. The UNSW Master of Taxation program builds professionals who cannot be ‘automated out’ of law, tax and finance, securing your relevance in this era of digital disruption.”