CTA1 Foundations teaches our candidates the basics of tax legislation. CTA2A Advanced takes learning a step further by offering a deeper and more complex analysis of the same tax concepts, whilst also introducing new topics, such as Superannuation Funds. 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.
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.
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 just one 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.
All the subjects 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 Advanced. Therefore, unless you continue with CTA2A Advanced, your knowledge and understanding would only be partially complete. It is invaluable to complete the program if you want to gain an in-depth and complete understanding of the legislative concepts and application of the tax law.
CTA1 Foundations talks about Capital Gains Tax (CGT), but most of the content is basic and aims to provide a general idea of the concept. This is so that students without a tax background can understand the fundamentals. CTA2A Advanced looks at this same topic in much more detail and depth, thus building on the knowledge gained from the first subject.
For example, while CTA1 Foundations would have covered Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in one module, CTA2A Advanced would dedicate two separate modules to discuss the concepts and legislation around CGT. While one module would focus extensively on the general CGT concepts, another module would be dedicated to discussing and analysing the CGT small business concessions. Another example would be, CTA1 Foundations touching on business structures in one module and CTA2A Advanced having multiple modules individually targeting the different structures, such as one module around partnerships and another around trusts.
CGT small business concessions – this is an area that causes a lot of debate and confusion in public practice, as it is very complex. The detailed notes and discussions that were encouraged during the lecture sessions have been instrumental in expanding my knowledge in the area. It has also cleared any doubts I had about the application of the law.
I gained an in-depth knowledge of business structures and in particular trusts. The module touched deeply on very important concepts that I come across daily, such as taxation of trust income, trust loss rules, streaming rules, and deceased estates.
CTA2A Advanced also delves into the Tax Administration Act, and the application of Part IVA ITAA36. The module also dives deep into superannuation and areas such as contributions, taxation of superfunds, concepts and rules surrounding super guarantee payments, and investment rules for self-managed super funds.
I would highly recommend the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law to others, particularly if you, like me are looking for an in-depth understanding of tax concepts and the tax legislation as a whole. The subjects are interlinked, and the program is developed and structured in a way that helps you progressively gain extensive knowledge as you move through the course.
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.
Prior learning and relevant work experience could mean you are eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning for our programs. Evidence of your qualifications and work experience will need to be provided prior to your enrolment.
Ready to continue your education in tax?