TaxPersonal TaxCan tax be more attractive?

Can tax be more attractive?

When I was younger I wanted to be a professional footballer, my best friend Ben wanted to be an astronaut and Ian wanted to be a chef. I could never understand Ian's wishes to be a chef, but that's beside the point. And at least he didn't want to pursue a career in tax.

In fact I don’t think I ever heard the word ‘tax’ being thrown around the playground when considering ways to spend our later years.Which is completely understandable. Tax, on the face of it, is dull.

You’ve probably experienced it before at parties. How many tax specialists, when asked what they do by random strangers, say they act as business advisers? I would guess the majority.

It’s a simple fact of life. The grass is green, the sea is blue, roses are red and tax is dull.

Or is it? True, tax is a huge and complex area. A fine attention to detail, an analytical brain and a great deal of patience are all needed in abundance to make a successful career out of it.

But the impact tax has on our nation is nothing short of staggering. Politically it is right up there with the NHS and crime, if not higher. Professionally, tax issues are at the heart of many of the most contentious debates between business and government.

Just have a look at the year we’ve had. The tax credit debacle has affected millions of families across the length and breadth of the country. The European Court of Justice’s decisions have waved a big costly stick at government coffers. National insurance rises have put countless businesses – not to mention football clubs – ever closer to the precipice. I could go on.

Tax has always been at the heart of every society in the world – right back to the days of yore when bags of wheat were collected by a man with a big stick.

If the TaxWorking Group pushes home how important to our society tax is, then it can not fail to impress.

If it emphasises the importance it has on millions of families every day and the influence senior tax professionals can have on government policy, it will have high-quality graduates knocking on its door.

On the other hand, talking about the bags of money you can earn as a successful tax adviser might just work better.

  • David Rae edits Accountancy Age’s Tax page.

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