This month we talked to Patrick Norman, Lawyer at Birchstone Tax Law and dux of CTA2A Advanced for Study Period 2 2021, to discuss the most valuable modules from the CTA2A subject, and how he applies the knowledge he’s acquired to his work.
I graduated from Curtin University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Taxation) double degree.
I held a number of tax-related roles during my time at university. From 2018 to 2020, I worked as an administration officer in the Prosecutions Department at the ATO. In this role, I prepared prosecution notices and written court submissions, and attended court with delegated authority from the Commissioner of Taxation. I also volunteered at the Curtin Tax Clinic, an organisation that assists unrepresented taxpayers in meeting or complying with their taxation officers.
In October 2020, I joined Birchstone Tax Law in a full-time role as a law graduate. I commenced my practical legal training in January of 2021 and was admitted as a lawyer in August of 2021. In this role, I provide tax law advice to privately owned enterprises and high-net worth individuals, with a particular interest in restructuring and application of the small business CGT concessions.
I undertook the CTA2A Advanced unit as part of the Chartered Tax Adviser program with The Tax Institute Higher Education. I was very interested in the CTA2A Advanced unit because many, if not all, of the modules within the unit are directly relevant to my day-to-day work in the SME space.
The real value I have gained from the CTA2A Advanced unit is being able to identify different tax issues in the matters that I am working on. The CTA2A Advanced unit exposed me to such a wide range of different areas within tax law, and this has made it much easier to pinpoint what tax-related issues my clients may have. Most notably, I found the superannuation and partnership modules to be very helpful as I had limited knowledge in these areas.
My firm was very accommodating which allowed me to juggle study, work and other commitments. I found that at least doing some study each day, even if that is only 5 minutes of reading on the bus or train, was very beneficial as it kept the concepts fresh in my mind.
I would recommend covering all the reading at least a few weeks before the exam so that you can focus on practice questions and applying the concepts that you have learnt.
I will now complete the CTA2B and CTA3 units, and in the future, I may undertake a Master of Taxation.
I would highly recommend the Chartered Tax Adviser program to other tax professionals as it is a great value add for yourself and your clients.