Tax Stereotype Breaker
The embodiment of stereotypes and misconceptions of all things to do with tax is probably that ominous reference to, ‘the Tax Man’. From the way some people choose to deploy this phrase, he doesn’t exactly sound like a cheery chap!
You may have also heard that working in tax is, for want of a better word, a little dull… with one nightmare period at the end of each tax year! But what’s the truth about the modern day tax man?
Those taxing questions…
Well, for a start, it’s not just men that work in tax! Nowadays, the tax industry is focusing on diversity, and school leaver and graduate roles are just as open to females as they are to males.
Paying taxes is something that every working citizen is obliged to do in any country, and of course there has to be an organisation that monitors and processes these payments. So that really doesn’t mean to that the people who work in the industry are the Devil incarnate! For one, no one wants to be ripped off by tax dodgers, and tax investigators are there to make sure anyone who is trying to avoid paying taxes doesn’t get away with it.
In fact, it’s the job of the people in tax to help out their customers and clients with the payment of their taxes by helping them to organise their finances, providing advice to ensure they aren’t paying any more or less than they should be and what to do if something has gone wrong with their tax payments, and to process these payments properly so that HRMC and the customers are happy.
But tax is only for those good with numbers, right?
If your strength isn’t numbers then the odds are that a career in the tax industry won’t have the biggest appeal to you. But those with a sharp mind for maths could really find their forte here; it’s the realm of logical! And they’re hardly number bores; tax advisers and tax accountants also have to be very good at communicating complex information to their clients, and this requires some personality!
And the ‘D’ word?
‘Dull’ is not the word. Okay, so if complicated calculations aren’t your thing then it’s probably best to look elsewhere, as this does form a big part of many tax adviser roles. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t variety in what there is to be done. Companies of all shapes and sizes depend on tax experts to help keep them in line with their legal tax obligations, which means if you choose a tax career you could work with clients from more or less every industry out there. Investigatory roles provide plenty to get your teeth into: carrying out interviews and international correspondence accompany the mathematical tasks.
Many tax professionals at senior levels also possess impressive knowledge of tax law (even modern tax solicitors often have to demonstrate accountancy skills), so you could find yourself liaising with legal representatives as well as your clients.
It’s true that the busiest time of year is the end of the financial year in this industry, and long hours can then be a feature. However, there’s no sector out there that doesn’t experience pressurised periods – and there’s quite a buzz to seeing through a busy time or long project!