A final word

A word or two about the final events for 2012. The Tax Specialists’ Workshop lived up to its reputation as a testing but satisfying engagement with the tough technical tax issues experienced by top tax advisers in the SME and big-end sectors. The groups were very ably led by extremely experienced practitioners who freely imparted knowledge to the delegates. There was also a seriously good dinner held at La Pétanque.

The Noosa Tax Intensive finished off the year’s event program. It has an enviable reputation for delivering tax education in the best way, learning by doing, and of course, Noosa is almost always delightful in November. The Institute’s National Convention organisers must be vying for a Michelin star of their own because the selection of Berardo’s for the convention dinner was a quality decision.

And finally, it is quite sobering to realise that this is my last effort for the President’s Report. A year has almost gone by and so much has happened, all of it good (but with petty frustrations). It has been a great privilege to serve as president of The Tax Institute and to work closely with the staff and volunteers. The Institute is its people and they have performed magnificently in 2012.

Looking back over the past 11 months, there have been many high points. The most prominent has been sealing the arrangements with the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the introduction of the CTA qualification, and then the synchronising of the Institute’s structured education courses with these new arrangements. I am confident that the CTA qualification will live up to its potential as the gold standard for tax advisers throughout the Asia-Pacific region over the next decade, as is our ambition.

Consultation with, in particular, the ATO and Treasury proved to be both fulfilling and demanding (and with the odd frustration). Every one of our members can have an impact on the law and its administration — the president just gets a little more recognition from the authorities and that has been most satisfying.

It has been a wonderful experience — in some ways drawn too quickly to a close. But, on the other hand, there may now be some time for a holiday.

I know that the incoming president, Steve Westaway, will do an excellent job and I wish him well for what will undoubtedly prove to be a very exciting 2013 tax year.

Ken Schurgott

Ken Schurgott is President of the National Council at The Tax Institute.

The Tax Institute is Australia's leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.


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