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ConTax Newsletter - July 2012


Introducing a globally recognised designation for members

The Tax Institute has announced the introduction into Australia of a global designation for tax professionals, that of Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA).

Until this year the Chartered Tax Adviser designation was held only by members of the UK's prestigious Chartered Institute of Taxation, but it has been extended in a bid to recognise and promote the highest standards of tax advice internationally.

Find out more about the designation here or view vidoe highlights from the official launch event, as well as the full annoucement and speeches. 

Tax Careers Online

Tax Careers is a dedicated tax recruitment and online careers service within The Tax Institute website, open to all members, student members and tax professionals Australia wide.

The Tax Careers website offers a valuable and secure service to members and tax professionals within Australia who are currently looking for tax related jobs. The website brings together candidates and employers in an online environment.

Job seeker benefits include:

  • Search for job roles in tax from a range of sectors, job categories and in any location across Australia
  • No cost to job seekers
  • Secure online information exchange

To register your interest as a job seeker or to find out more information, visit Tax Careers now.

2013 Business Services Cadets - Positions Vacant (Sydney Location)

Nexia Court & Co are looking to recruit 3 Business Services cadets in 2013

General Overview

Develop understanding of services provided to clients, including compliance work, secretarial, audit and consulting services.  Show dedication and ability to learn quickly in a team environment. Learn all aspects of office procedures and interaction with government bodies. Day to day tasks include:

  • Income Tax Returns
  • Financial Statements
  • Wages, Superannuation and Payroll Calculations
  • Maintenance of Bank Accounts

The following skills are required by start date Feb 2013:

  • Year 12 successfully completed
  • Acceptance into a University to complete part-time accounting degree
  • Basic computer skills in Word, Excel & Powerpoint
  • Enthusiasm and the motivation to succeed
  • Ability to work as a part of a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

If anyone is interested the best way to apply is through the Nexia Court & Co. job board. If you have any questions please contact Michael Osmond on his direct line, which is 02 8264 0621.

Feature Article - An Ordered Approach to the Tax Rules for Problem Solving in a First Australian Income Taxation Law Course can improve Student Performance

Contributed by Dale Boccabella • Lecturer in Law from School of Taxation and Business Law, The University of New South Wales

The full version of this article has been published in the eJournal of Tax Research ((2012) 10 eJournal of Tax Research 621). Click here to read the full article.


The core tax legislation that students are expected to understand in a first-time Australian income tax course suffers from a number of deficiencies or challenges including overlap in assessable income provisions, overlap in deduction (or cost recognition) provisions, a shortage of express ordering rules and the presence of regime co-ordination rules that are “hidden”. It is little wonder students find income taxation law difficult. However, in spite of deficiencies in the legislation, Australia’s core tax rules do have a conceptual structure and considerable coherence, even if not immediately apparent. An approach to the tax rules that takes account of this structure and coherence is much more likely to lead to better problem solving. The ordered approach in this paper, which is largely not original, does this. The approach first centres on the conceptual structures in the general provisions, and secondly, if necessary, the “remedial” provisions that address a “failure” of part of the conceptual structure. This article sets out the ordered approach to problem solving. Importantly, the article makes the argument for this approach, partly by reference to the types of errors that can be made where the ordered approach is not adopted.

Click here to read this article in full.

Sample Exam Questions on FBT and GST

Contributed by: A sample exam question from The Tax Institute's Certificate in Foundation Tax course.

The Certificate in Foundation Tax is the vital link between academic studies and workplace practice. It provides new entrants to the profession with a working knowledge of tax compliance requirements to the Australian tax system.

Highly regarded by employers and developed and delivered by practitioners, Foundation Tax provides candidates the opportunity to learn and retain key principles and processes required to be successful in the taxation profession.

This course is ideal for recent graduates of accounting or law; it provides the competitive edge to establish a career in tax. The course will expand your knowledge across all areas of tax to provide more depth to your degree and attract employers' attention!

See the full question and suggested solutions.

Young Practitioner Profile

ConTax Amy Waterhouse 201207

: Amy Waterhouse
Employer: Nexia Court & Co ('Nexia Court'), based in Sydney with 14 Partners and 100 staff.  Nexia Court is a member of the Nexia International Network, which comprises 590 offices in 105 countries and is the 10th largest international accounting and consulting affiliation globally.
Position: Senior Tax Adviser
Member Since: May 2010

Short bio - I started out my career in tax as a graduate with a Big 4 firm, during which time I gained specialist experience focussing on Indirect Taxes.  I worked with multinational companies and was very fortunate to be able to travel internationally. With a view to gaining a wider insight into the tax and business affairs of SME and OMBs, I started working with an independent specialist Tax Advisory firm and returned to Australia to establish a presence for the firm, a couple of years ago. The firm’s focus was on assisting Australian businesses to establish, trade and invest in the UK and in overseas jurisdictions; and to facilitate the establishment and trade of overseas entities in Australia.

I was delighted to join the tax consulting team, headed up by Sean Urquhart, at Nexia Court earlier this year.

Amy is a Chartered Tax Advisor (UK), holds a Master of Taxation (UNSW) and is an Associate of the Tax Institute. She is also the secretary for the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Australia Branch and is an Australian Registered Tax Agent.

What are your career highlights?  I have thoroughly enjoyed and wholly appreciate the travel opportunities which have been afforded to me as a result of the skills I have acquired.

What advice can you give to graduates? If you are looking for a challenging career with masses of opportunity, which enables you to both develop your technical knowledge, professional and personal skills on a daily basis, this is a career for you. Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions. 

What do you enjoy the most about having a career in tax? There will not be sufficient text space to mention them all, however to pick a few:

  • I like the fact that tax is dynamic; with legislation, case law and accepted practices regularly changing, there will always be something new to learn.
  • Meeting clients, assisting them resolve tax problems and on a personal level, building sound relationships which can turn into great friendships.
  • I also really value the camaraderie of the tax professionals in my business network. I have been a member of a number of different Tax Discussion groups, both in the UK and Australia, and the members of those groups have always been friendly, open and willing to assist each other.

What do you do to unwind? I spend as much time as possible outside walking my three dogs. I still have the travel bug, so really enjoy packing up the car and heading out of the city to a new destination.

Tips for searching The Tax Institute's website

Always begin with your name and password as this will affect how you are charged for download of items. Members normally receive a discounted price. Items that you download from the website go to your "My Downloads" box on the Home Page. This box appears once you have logged in and the items remain there for 6 months.

When you use the "Advanced Search" feature you are able to limit your search by a Category search. Beneath the "Date Range" boxes you will find boxes that allow you to choose what type of material you can search across. The first box will enable you to search across the entire website. In fact, even if you do not check this box the search would be over the entire website. There are 3 groups of materials and each group has a box at the top of the group which when checked will enable the search to cover the entire group. Otherwise you can just choose a specific item from the list and check the box.

From the "Advanced Search" page you are able to find the Library catalogue. From the near top of the left hand side of the page there is a link to the catalogue and on the right hand side of the page under the heading "Related Content" there is another link. This link is not as direct as the link on the left hand side of the page. The catalogue will show you what physical items are held in the Library and in our archive storage. We have a “No Loans” policy with our material but if you are a full Member of the TTI you are able to come and use the Library. You will need to contact us before you arrive to ensure that a Librarian will be on hand to assist you.

Remember that full Members of The Tax Institute have free access to the research service of Tax Line. There is no limit to the number of requests you may make. Contact us on

Do you use LinkedIn Groups?

Have you set up a profile on Linked and barely used the professional network since? LinkedIn provides a lot of additional tools that assist job seekers to build professional relationships, which in turn can lead to potential career opportunities.

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups exist for all industries and topics, so you should find groups that are closely related to your career goals and interests, as well as for companies and firms you might be considering applying for positions with.

In particular, keep an eye out for groups that have strong participation, good recent discussion, and which involve influential people from your industry. By participating in groups you can establish yourself as an expert in your field, and become more visible to potential employers.

To get the most out of groups we recommend you:

  • join groups well before you even consider starting your job search
  • check into groups regularly to stay active and involved
  • participate regularly in group discussion to build your profile
  • get advice, ask questions and start discussions to build your knowledge
  • connect with group members to build your industry network and open yourself to opportunities, and
  • if you're the most active person in the group, you will get Top Influencer status, which can give you more exposure.

Don’t forget to join The Tax Institute's LinkedIn Group to get all the latest tax news.

Continue your membership with Australia's leading tax education body

If you are heading into the tax profession in 2012, continue your relationship with The Tax Institute by applying for full membership now.

Being a member of The Tax Institute will ensure you have access to the best tax education products and services available to the tax profession, as well as enable you to gain exposure to future employers and mentors from around the country.

Membership of the Institute is essential for anyone who is serious about a career in tax.

For a full list of benefits to members, click here.

Special offers from Business Alliance Partners

The Tax Institute has negotiated special rates on your behalf with our Business Alliance Partners including CCH Australia, Thomson Reuters and Brewer Morris recruitment.

To access these special deals, visit our BAP page and have your member log in details handy.

Contribute now!

If you’d like to increase your profile in the tax industry by contributing to Contax, please email us today with an article or information on yourself.

Alternatively, if you have any feedback or suggestions for us we'd love to hear from you.