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Accountants and lawyers seeking to add skills and attract new clients or work overseas can now get internationally recognised qualifications as a “chartered tax adviser”.
Australia has become only the third country to offer the standard, after the UK and Ireland, under a deal sealed by the Tax Institute.
Until this year, the chartered tax adviser designation was held only by members of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Taxation. But in an Australian first, the institute’s 13,000 members can apply from October, so long as they have a degree in accounting or law, other qualifications such as a CA or CPA, and at least three years’ experience as a tax professional.
The move is a big win for the association, which hopes to attract new members. “It’s a well recognised credential in the UK and it’s becoming recognised across Europe,” says the Tax Institute’s chief executive Noel Rowland.
Qualified professionals wanting to apply will have to sit a rigorous exam testing technical tax knowledge and pay a small fee for the privilege. Once they gain their Chartered Tax Adviser status, they will have to do at least 30 hours of professional development training each year to ensure they are on top of evolving tax laws and regulations.
Rowland says professionals will also have to adhere to strict standards – anyone who gets registered and engages in irresponsible conduct will be stripped of their status.