How does CTA2B Advanced complement and enhance your tax knowledge from CTA2A Advanced?



Student Spotlight - Meet the Student Representative


CTA2A Advanced delves deeper into the complexities of basic tax legislation that our candidates learn in CTA1 Foundations. CTA2B Advanced then takes learning a step further by offering an even deeper and more complex analysis of the same tax concepts, whilst also introducing new topics, such as International Tax. Hansini De Fonseka, our Student Representative, has studied both subjects and offers insight into the invaluable benefit of moving through an education program to gain a holistic and extensive understanding of legislative concepts and the application of tax law.

Please tell us a bit about your tax career.

My career in public practice started in 2017 after I graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Commerce (Dean’s Scholar), double majoring in accounting and finance. I was fortunate to get my first job as a junior accountant in one of the largest accounting firms on the far south coast of NSW, Booth Partners in Nowra. This is where I had my first glimpse into the world of accounting and taxation. While working at Booth Partners, I gained in-depth experience and training in the preparation of financial statements and tax returns for individuals and other entities. I also had the opportunity to engage in audit and assurance services which helped immensely in developing my critical thinking and analytical skills.

After 3 years, I relocated to South Australia and became part of the much-reputed William Buck Group. I am currently working as a senior accountant in the business advisory division of William Buck Adelaide, where I deal with very complicated and complex business groups and structures, as well as high net wealth individuals. I am a CPA and Associate member of The Tax Institute, where I am also an active candidate in the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law Program.

You’re a CPA and now you’ve decided to complete the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law. How do the two qualifications differ?

The CPA qualification helped me to gain an overall idea and understanding of accounting and taxation. CPA is broader in the sense that it aims to give you knowledge across a wide range of disciplines such as financial accounting, management accounting, corporate governance and ethics. Taxation is one such area covered under the CPA qualification.

However, the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law specialises in taxation. Therefore, as I progressed through my career in public practice and became more involved with tax compliance and legislation, I was searching for a course that would give me that specialised and in-depth knowledge in taxation. The Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law did exactly that.

What’s the benefit of enrolling into CTA2B Advanced?

All the subjects offered throughout the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law program are interlinked and connected. For instance, you might touch on a topic in CTA1 Foundations, but you would delve much deeper into this topic during CTA2A and then CTA2B Advanced. As candidates progress through the course, they build on the knowledge that they acquired from prior stages. For example, during CTA1 Foundations the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) module would briefly touch on the FBT legislation and look into a couple of selected fringe benefits. Then, when candidates reach the CTA2B stage, FBT is revisited where all 12 FBT types and their associated rules, exemptions and calculations are separately detailed and discussed.

You are also introduced to entire new topics, such as International Tax, so unless you continue with CTA2B Advanced, your knowledge would only be partially complete. It is therefore imperative to finish the program if you want to gain an in-depth and complete understanding of the legislative concepts and application of the tax law. 

What were the core skills and knowledge areas you learned from CTA2B Advanced? 

CTA2B Advanced provides an in-depth understanding of Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT), GST, Corporate Tax and International Tax. I found the FBT module particularly useful as every benefit was explained much more thoroughly than in previous subjects. Details included the calculations, special rules and exemptions surrounding each benefit. The GST module is also structured in a way that gives extensive knowledge on special topics, including the application of the margin scheme, cross-border transactions, sale of going concern and GST surroundings new residential properties.

The Corporate Tax modules provided valuable insight into the loss carry-back provisions, claiming carry-forward losses including the Continuity of Ownership Test (COT) and Business Continuity Tests (BCT), the imputation system and consolidation. Whilst the International Tax module focused on residency rules, double tax agreements, foreign currency translation and realisation rules, foreign income attribution rules, withholding tax requirements, foreign income tax offsets, transfer pricing, thin capitalisation and other important topics. 

How have you applied the knowledge you’ve acquired from CTA2B Advanced to your day-to-day practice? 

The knowledge I acquired through these subjects has been instrumental in my day-to-day work as a tax professional. I often navigate to my module notes and materials from CTA2B Advanced whenever I need a refresher. The subject has strengthened my confidence and accuracy in my analysis of the tax legislation, and as we move into FBT season, the detailed understanding and analysis of the fringe benefits has been particularly useful. 

Want to know more?

The Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law provides individuals of all levels - from recent graduates to experienced tax and financial specialists - with the expertise to provide superior professional tax advice, and undertake highly-skilled tax work across a range of contexts. 

Ready to continue your education in tax?

If you have a question or want help enrolling in the next subject, please get in touch with our friendly student advisers on 1300 829 338 or submit an enquiry online.