We caught up with 2019 Emerging Tax Star Amanda Kazacos from King & Wood Mallesons.
Amanda has been a member of The Tax Institute since 2017. This year she was crowned Emerging Tax Star in the Tax Adviser of the Year Awards at the 34th National Convention in Hobart.
Her areas of speciality include structuring and tax advisory for large multinational corporations including on corporate acquisitions, divestments, restructures and international tax issues.
Here is what Amanda has to say about being a member, how she ended up in tax, and more!
Why are you a member of The Tax Institute?
My involvement with The Tax Institute began in 2017, when I joined the planning committee for the NSW Tax Forum “emerging leader stream”. From this, I then became part of the NSW Membership Committee, assisting with the planning of the NSW Tax Forum and Emerging Leaders Program, as well as assisting to boost membership of young practitioners.
I became a member of the Tax Institute to develop relationships with tax professionals and become part of a community that supports and nurtures professional development. Joining The Tax Institute has provided me a platform to discuss tax issues with a group of like-minded individuals who have been an invaluable source of guidance and support.
How is your membership beneficial to your practice and clients?
Attending The Tax Institute technical forums and receiving their quality publications has allowed me to continue my professional development, a necessary tool for any tax practitioner. Additionally, the array of speakers that The Tax Institute obtains for their technical forums provides unparalleled insights from not only a practitioner perspective and an industry perspective but also a Governmental perspective, which is often invaluable for client interactions.
How did you end up in tax?
I became interested in tax at university, as my tax law subject proved to be the most interesting, challenging and complex that I had encountered.
This interest led me to choose to rotate into the tax group at King & Wood Mallesons as a summer clerk and work as an associate for former national tax judge, Justice Richard Edmonds. As a tax lawyer, I constantly am trying to find technical yet practical solutions for clients and it is this act of problem-solving that I find so enjoyable about tax. I decided to consolidate my knowledge of tax by completing my Masters of International Tax at New York University and have since returned to King & Wood Mallesons with an increased focus on cross-border transactions.
What are the challenges for tax practitioners this year?
The biggest challenge for a tax practitioner is keeping up-to-date with legislative changes, court decisions and publications produced by the Australian Taxation Office, while delivering value to clients in a timely manner.
To deliver real client value, tax practitioners must be able to translate technical changes into practical solutions. I have found that this requires a tax practitioner to digest not only the voluminous technical materials but also understand the client’s commercial drivers to develop a viable solution. This requires a tax practitioner to be committed to developing both their technical and commercial skills.
Most memorable career moment to date
I have been fortunate to have a fantastic career to date and for me there are many amazing highlights. However, one particular highlight is working with and development relationships with fantastic clients. I have had the pleasure of working with clients from a very junior level who are knowledgeable and generous with their time on incredibly interesting and complex matters.
How do you relax?
I love dancing, eating (and drinking), yoga, reading a good book and walking my two dogs.
Advice to those entering the profession
Stay curious and treat every opportunity as a chance to develop and grow.
What does winning the 2019 Emerging Tax Star award mean to you?
It is an incredible honour to be recognised as the Emerging Tax Star by a group of tax professionals that are incredibly accomplished and inspiring. Importantly, it is also a reflection on the incredibly mentors I have had in my professional life, including former Justice Richard Edmonds and Justin Cherrington – Head of Tax at King & Wood Mallesons, as well as the whole King & Wood Mallesons tax team, who have been instrumental in my professional development. Most importantly, it's a reflection on my family and particularly my fiancé who have always supported me in everything that I do.
Nominations for the 2020 Tax Adviser of the Year Awards are now open.
The Tax Institute is dedicated to supporting the career progression of women in the tax, accounting and legal professions. As the leading forum for Australia’s tax community, we are committed to representing our 12,000 members and the continuous improvement of the tax system. Find out more about the benefits membership of The Tax Institute can deliver for your role