Written by: The Tax Institute
Published: 5 Jan 2024
Vincent Oldani is a Tax Manager, MGI Joyce-Dickson, ACT, and the Dux of Corporate Tax for Study Period 1, 2023. He describes his career in tax and how setting priorities is key to juggling work and study.
Tell us about your career in tax
I graduated from a French business school with a Finance major and spent most of my career in Luxembourg. My first job in 2006 was with the international corporate tax team of KPMG, and then I became a Finance/Tax specialist with the investment fund division of Macquarie Bank. I moved to Australia for family reasons and joined the tax team of MGI Joyce-Dickson in Canberra.
I moved into a tax advisory role with MGI in early 2021. The Australian tax system is complex and different from what I was used to back in Europe. I figured out that the best way to learn quickly was to undertake the Chartered Tax Adviser program with The Tax Institute. It was so helpful in structuring and expanding my tax knowledge that I decided to go for one more subject!
What have you gained by taking the Corporate Tax subject?
I learned a lot about corporate tax topics that are often outside of the usual reach of a tax accountant, and yet critical to tax advisory, such as the company loss utilisation rules, the debt/equity tests, the capital reduction/share buy-back rules, the consolidation mechanics, the CGT rollovers etc. Some topics, like the module on R&D incentives, are a bit more specialised but they have also proved extremely useful for some of my clients.
The technical content from the subject is useful on a daily basis, I often go back to the module notes to confirm my understanding of a specific topic, as the explanations in there and the given examples are helpful to quickly grasp some mechanisms which may not be that clear from reading the tax act or commentaries.
What about the CTA Program?
I have no specialisation in my current tax advisory role, and I am supposed to be able to cover any question on any area of the Australian tax law. I have learned a lot in a short period of time, but directly on the job, bit-by-bit, rather than in a structured way. Following the CTA program really gives me this excellent structured understanding, which is key for me to join the dots in what I am learning at my work. Studying with The Tax Institute was an excellent smooth online experience.
Do you have any tips for others on managing study whilst working?
The first secret is to set your priorities right. The important before the urgent. I mean what is important, long and difficult (for instance, your studies!) should be at least started, set into motion, before you get to the never-ending routine of the urgent problems.
My second secret is to avoid the serial timewasters like addictive TV series (cancel your subscriptions!) and to leave my smartphone in a different room. Then you find out that there is enough time for your work, your family, your studies, and even for your hobbies.
Last but certainly not least, it is very helpful to have an employer that supports your studies by granting you some days to prepare for your exams. I am very thankful to my employer for that.
Where to now for you when it comes to continuing tax education?
There is no doubt in my mind, I want to continue studying to keep the learning curve up. The Tax for Trusts subject is next! I can only encourage tax professionals, especially those in an early career stage like me, to get into those programs. You are always better off with more knowledge and understanding of your field of work, it will help you fast-track your career.
Interested in a formal qualification in tax? Learn more here.