What did you study in college?
I completed a Bachelor of Civil Law Degree at UCD and I also undertook the Degree of Barrister-at-Law in Kings Inns.
When did you decide you were interested in tax as a career?
After graduating from UCD, I worked in Microsoft for three years during which time I started to look into a career as a tax adviser, as an alternative to a career in law.
Working as a tax adviser involves combining technical knowledge, commercial awareness and legal knowledge, so the skills which I acquired as part of my degree were transferable to tax.
How did you go about looking for a job in tax?
Although I had some exposure to tax when I studied Revenue law as part of my degree, I was advised by a number of people, that working in the area was the best way to find out if I would like working in tax as a career. So, I commenced the AITI Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification with the Irish Tax Institute. My enrolment with the Irish Tax Institute and the successful completion of my Part 1 exams was a key factor to securing my training contract with Grant Thornton. I applied to a number of firms as part of the “Milk Round” process but felt that Grant Thornton was a better fit. In Grant Thornton, I had the opportunity to build my technical knowledge working in corporate and income tax compliance in the first two years, with the option of working solely in tax advisory from my third year onwards.
Can you describe a typical day?
There is no typical day when you work in tax! I work on the capital taxes team and my work generally involves advising on the tax aspects of corporate transactions, debt restructuring and insolvency. At the moment, much of my work involves providing advice in respect of property transactions. My clients are varied but would typically include receivers, banks and private clients.
Are you finding you are applying what you learned on the during your Tax qualification?
The Chartered Tax Adviser) qualification prepares you for a career in tax, as it covers tax technical knowledge for all tax heads, while teaching you how to read and interpret the legislation.
The professional skills workshops were beneficial as practical examples are used to identify and research the relevant tax and legal issues.The report writing skills which form part of the take home assignments, are used to communicate complex tax matters to clients in a manner which they can understand. I have found that all these skills have been invaluable to me on a day-to-day basis.
Find out more by visiting the Irish Tax Institute's 'Careers in Tax' website here