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 Welcome to the April 2008 edition of ConTax


On behalf of the Taxation Institute of Australia, welcome to the new University year! In 2008, we will once again be providing student Members with free access to the following: 

  • Access to the most current developments within the tax profession
  • Comprehensive yet clear explanations of the impact of tax law
  • Support to help you achieve your best marks
  • The best tax knowledge available from the tax profession
  • Knowledge that is directly related to your study and applicable in the workplace from day one
  • Added credibility, respect and relevance to your tax studies
  • Access to Australia’s best tax resources and membership body
  • Receipt of ConTax, our quarterly student e-newsletter
  • Discounted Member rates to attend Taxation Institute seminars and events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Discounts on selected third party products, including 20% discount on Thomson’s Australian Tax Handbook

Structured Education Update: Some good news for soon-to-be graduates! CPA Australia and the Taxation Institute have entered into a formal agreement that provides mutual recognition for their respective tax credential programs. Under the agreement, CPA Australia will recognise graduates of the Taxation Institute’s Applied Tax course (the intermediate level of the Structured Education Program as exempt from undertaking the Taxation Segment, an elective segment of the CPA Australia CPA Program. Applied Tax Graduates will also receive an exemption for the CA Program Tax Module offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and 6 units of credit for one of the following postgraduate taxation programs offered by Atax:

  • Graduate Diploma in Advanced Taxation; or
  • Master of Taxation; or
  • Master of International Taxation.

Have you logged on to the Taxation Institute’s website recently?

As a Student Member, you have FREE access to the current volume of Taxation in Australia, the Taxation Institute’s monthly Member-only journal and FREE access to the daily TaxVine news service. Our website features a comprehensive and easy to use knowledge base developed specifically for anyone in the tax profession and is your first stop for the latest in tax commentary, journal articles written by leading practitioners and daily tax news. Content on our website goes back until 1996 and includes over 50,000 items allowing you to source the best tax articles and achieve the your best marks. If you are unsure of your login details, please contact our Membership Division by email to studentmembership@taxinstitute.com.au or by calling (02) 8223 0060.

Throughout 2008, the Institute will continue to provide leading edge education and learning resources to all of its Members.  For those of you who would are seriously considering a job in tax, you should consider attending our Young Tax Practitioner Seminars which are held in CBD locations in every state.  Not only will you be exposed to some great education at these events, but the networking opportunities with peers and potential employees is also great.

One of our major initiatives is to increase our support for the promotion of the tax profession as a whole.  Tax is a fast paced, rewarding and highly regarded career and we hope to be able to expose more students to the benefits of working in the tax profession through exposure to careers advice nights and information sessions in the not too distant future.  Watch this space for more information.

Yours sincerely,

Noel Rowland               Janet Adams
CEO                              Membership Manager


arrow In this Issue :

Issue highlights:

Regular Features:

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Feature Article
Learning to Learn: Business Professionals’ Perceptions of Information Literacy
By Brett Freudenberg FTIA

Tertiary educators face increasing constraints and pressures in designing and delivering their course material. Accordingly, educators need to not only equip students with content knowledge, but also the ability to continue their learning independently through information literacy. In trying to determine this balance in the accounting curriculum context, we asked ‘what are business professionals’ perceptions of 1) information literacy in their workplace? and 2) the importance of content knowledge compared to information literacy?’

This paper details the findings of a pilot study conducted with business professionals from both the government and private sectors. Interviews explored how professionals go about finding and using new information in their day-to-day work, how they see research, and how they see the importance of content knowledge compared to the skills and knowledge of finding and using information.

Introduction

How should we design university accounting curriculum? What content knowledge and processes should we focus on, particularly given the constraints of less contact time with students, concern about over-assessment practices and tightening university budgets? A general method of conducting basic business courses, such as accounting courses, is to require students to memorise rules and methods of calculations. However, is such a focus even possible in content and context rich areas, and is this focus in the best interest of students?

Williams contends that ‘if students can learn how to find answers, then they are well prepared for a lifetime career’ (1994 208). This idea incorporates a shift in focus in accounting from ‘traditional information processing and stewardship functions to analysis and interpretation of information’ (MacCallum 1997 19). Such a shift incorporates the inclusion of information literacy in the accounting curriculum. Information literacy is the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organise and use information to ‘address and help resolve personal, job related, or broader social issues and problems’(UNESCO, US National Commission on Libraries and Information Science et al. 2002). As such, it is an essential element for learning to learn (Bundy 2004).

To read this article in full, please click here

Brett Freudenberg is a Taxation Lecturer at the Griffith Business School within the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Griffith University (Australia). In addition to his taxation teaching, Brett is enrolled in a PhD researching tax transparent companies in the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and how Australian closely held businesses may benefit from their introduction. In 2006 Brett received a Fulbright Award, which saw him conducting research at the University of Illinois to analyse the proliferation of new business forms in the United States and their potential application for Australian businesses. Brett has published a number of refereed articles in leading Australian and international tax journals.

 

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Free Seminar Opportunities


For more information on Taxation Institute seminars, visit our website www.taxinstitute.com.au to view brochures for our events


Limited FREE registrations are now available for selected Taxation Institute events for Student Members.

To find out about FREE event opportunities, please contact your local state office or email studentmembership@taxinstitute.com.au
arrow  Sample Exam Questions by Lisa Samarkovski FTIA

Self-education expenses

For each of the following scenarios, determine the allowable deductions for the 2007/08 income year in accordance with Division 8 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and section 82A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

Question 1:

During the 2007/08 income year, Naomi incurred the following educational expenses while working for a chartered accounting firm as a junior accountant:

  • Expenses associated with her third year of an undergraduate course in accounting at the local university. The course directly relates to Naomi’s employment and is likely to see her receive a pay rise on its successful completion. The expenses Naomi incurred are:
  University fees  $235
  HECS $950
  Photocopying study materials $ 35
  Textbooks (only useful for the current year) $170
  Bus fares from work to Uni $ 65
  Stationery $ 15
  Coffee after classes $115

To see the full set of questions and their suggested solutions, please click here.

Lisa Samarkovski, LLB(Hons) BCom BA FTIA
Lecturer, Taxation Law, Griffith Business School, Griffith University.

Lisa has just entered her second year as a lecturer at Griffith University teaching taxation law to students in the Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws programs, which she thoroughly enjoys! Previously Lisa was at the Australian Taxation Office and worked in a number of business lines including GST, Small Business, and Excise.

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arrow  Young Practitioner Profile

Name: Jodi Lupton ATIA
Employer: Bentleys, Brisbane
Position: Associate Director

Jodi is a chartered accountant with eight years experience working for Bentleys MRI. Prior to commencing with the firm, Jodi had ten years bookkeeping/administration experience in the retail and construction industries.

Jodi is an Associate Director within the firm and has a number of clients from a range of industries including property and construction, share investors, self managed superannuation funds and professionals. Jodi has a particular interest in family businesses and servicing the firm’s property and construction clients. Jodi is an active member of the firm’s Superannuation Business Unit and Property and Construction Business Unit.

Jodi has developed a hands on, attention to detail approach with clients and enjoys building strong relationships and gaining a complete understanding of client’s businesses.

Describe your current role:

I enjoy providing pro-active business advice and solutions to a variety of clients mainly in the professional and property industries. I am passionate about mentoring a team of 15 accountants ranging from under-graduates to client services managers.

Describe your Taxation Institute committee involvement:

I am currently a member of the Tax Institute’s Queensland Membership Committee. I have been the update speaker at the Tax Institute’s Breakfast Club and look forward to presenting at other upcoming functions including Young Tax Practitioners events.

What are your career highlights?

The highlight to date is being made an associate director in the exciting, dynamic and prosperous firm that I am lucky to be a part of.

Why did you join the Taxation Institute?

I joined the institute initially to improve my technical knowledge and have access to great research facilities. I have enjoyed the challenge of public speaking and the increased technical knowledge as a result of the preparation has been very valuable.

What advice can you give to graduates?

Try to always have the client’s needs and wants in the forefront of your mind. Identify what makes you passionate about your job and communicate this to your managers, colleagues and clients.

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by my clients’ success and being able to be a part of that. The directors of my firm inspire me to achieve career goals and to participate in the firm’s goals.

What do you do to unwind?

I unwind by spending time with my husband and delightful 4 year old twins. I do enjoy a glass of wine with good friends. I enjoy reading a great novel and being a member of a book club.

Favourite holiday destination?

Yamba, NSW.

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Structured Education Program

Want to ensure your career moves forward after university?
Foundation Tax >> Applied Tax >> Advanced Tax


The Foundation Tax course is the answer. Presented by practitioners, this practical course covers key tax compliance areas ensuring you maximise your productivity and confidence in the workplace.  

Foundation Tax – the next step in your tax career: http://sep.taxinstitute.com.au 

 

arrow  Reading List

Legislation

Places to locate legislation include the following sites:

  • Austlii - Federal and State legislation
  • ComLaw - Official Australian Government site
  • ATO - Exhaustive site for tax and superannuation and related legislation; Includes EM’s and Second Reading speeches
  • Federal Parliament - Bills, EM’s and Second Reading speeches; No Acts (go to ComLaw for these)

ATO

www.ato.gov.au

This website is extremely useful for students and practitioners and will reward your efforts to become familiar with the contents and how they are arranged.

  • Public Rulings, Determinations etc.
  • ATO Interpretive Decisions
  • NTLG Minutes
  • Tax, superannuation and related legislation. Also includes EM’s and Second Reading speeches

Journals

The Treasury and Ministry Websites

Related websites

Education Websites

You may have access to one or more of these sites via your educational institution – it’s a good idea to check this out.

  • Thomson - Subscription needed for access
  • CCH - Subscription needed for access
  • LexisNexis - Subscription needed for access

Some Recent Cases of Interest

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arrow  Special Offers

Various special offers from The Tax Institute's Business Alliance Partners can be accessed by clicking here

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arrow  Feedback

We welcome your feedback about ConTax and the receipt of proposed content contributions (i.e articles) for future editions. Click here to contact ConTax

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