Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA)

Unlocking the world of tax: Steve Tanner’s journey

Written by: The Tax Institute

Published: 4 Jul 2024



Steve Tanner, Dux of CTA2A Advanced for Study Period 3 2023. 


Steve Tanner, Dux of CTA2A Advanced for Study Period 3 2023, is a Manager at Roberts & Morrow, Brisbane. With a Bachelor of Business in Accounting under his belt, he became a Chartered Accountant and has worked in various roles in boutique and large firms. It's Steve’s passion for tax advisory work that defines his recent years, adding depth to his already impressive expertise.

Deciphering tax

When we asked Steve ‘why tax?’, his response echoed a sentiment shared by many in the field: a profound love for problem-solving and an interest in law; “Tax allows me to be involved in both of these on a daily basis” he said, emphasising that the tax system “is fundamental to the prosperity of all Australians, it is constantly changing, widely complex (sometimes to a fault) but can be very rewarding, if well understood, to help clients achieve their goals.”

The rewarding path

The most rewarding part of Steve’s role is mentoring budding talents within his team and unravelling complex puzzles alongside them. This collaborative spirit not only fosters growth but also cultivates a deeper understanding of tax intricacies.

Education: the key to mastery

Steve undertook the CTA2A Advanced subject as part of our Chartered Tax Adviser Program. He said the section on CGT rollovers, in particular, helped him develop a stronger understanding: “We often undertake group restructures for various commercial reasons and tax can often impede progress if not well understood. Division 122-124, Division 615, 328-G and demergers are all vital areas that have greatly added to my skillset.”

When questioned about the most interesting part of the subject, Steve said that it was a three-way tie between the taxation of trusts, CGT rollovers and SBCGT concessions. “All of these are vital to my day-to-day knowledge in serving the needs of our clients. In my experience, the taxation of trusts would have to be one of the most misunderstood areas in practice. CGT rollovers and SBCGT concessions are both highly technical and very important when it comes to clients undertaking tax-effective restructures for expansion, succession planning or selling their business.”

The Tax Institute experience

Reflecting on his educational journey with The Tax Institute Higher Education so far, Steve commented on the pragmatic approach stating that it was “the most commercially practical education I have ever undertaken”. Modules in CTA2A Advanced are taught online by seasoned tax professionals where questions and answers are exchanged in real time. Steve found the module notes very thorough with practical examples. Steve said it’s the “comprehensive notes and meetings with experts well-versed in their area of expertise that makes studying with The Tax Institute so worthwhile.”

Words of wisdom

As he steps closer to the CTA designation, Steve attributes his success, aside from having a well-planned schedule, to “understanding the fundamentals of what the concepts are trying to achieve and the reason for its existence. Keeping it simple and always falling back to asking “why?” helps me when I get stuck.”

To aspiring tax professionals, Steve offers this sage advice: “Don’t treat it as a box-ticking exercise, approach your learning and education as an opportunity to build your skillset to better serve your clients and pass on knowledge to your colleagues, particularly juniors that are interested in growing.”


Interested in the Chartered  Tax Adviser Program? Learn more.

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