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The omnipresence of accounting on tax matters


On 12 February 2002, Donald Rumsfeld said: “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know that there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” Tax people often exclaim, “I’m no accountant!” However, there are hundreds of references to accounting concepts, principles and standards that are relevant to the application of our tax laws. Further, new global accounting standards are changing previously understood accounting methodologies and there is an ever-increasing focus of regulators on understanding accounting to tax differences. Therefore, it is time to get up to speed with what accounting means to the world of tax. Because, if tax people stay in the dark, there is a risk that our tax laws could become a playground full of sleeping giants and silent killers that will feed off a lack of accounting knowledge and understanding by the very people responsible for applying the laws.

Author profiles

Tracey Rens CTA-Life
Photo of author, Tracey RENS Tracey is a partner in Deloitte Sydney’s Business Tax Advisory practice. She has over 20 years experience in providing advice on all major areas of Australian tax, including capital gains tax issues relating to acquisitions, divestments and restructures, loss management and integrity issues, capital allowance provisions, repatriation matters, tax consolidation and IFRS. - Current at 29 May 2019
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Melanie Earl
Melanie is a Partner at Deloitte with over 20 years’ experience specialising in corporate and international tax and mergers and acquisitions. Melanie has worked for Deloitte Sydney and Deloitte London and has advised on numerous transactions in the Australian, Asia-Pacific and European regions. Melanie’s current client base comprises Australian and foreign based multinational corporations and she advises them on all major areas of Australian tax including international tax structuring and advisory as well as tax reporting and compliance. Melanie has worked flexibly for the past 9 years of her career allowing her more time to raise her family. - Current at 25 October 2021
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