Are you interested in specialising in tax?


Tax is a diverse and rewarding profession. Consider these questions and assess whether you possess the necessary qualities to excel as a tax professional or tax practitioner:


  • Can you think outside the box?

  • Do you thrive on finding original solutions to complex challenges?

  • Are you analytical minded?

  • Can you communicate with ease and clarity?

  • Do you have a natural affinity for working with numbers?

  • Do you possess strong business acumen?

  • Are you intrigued by technology?

  • Are you capable of being adaptable to adjust to new and unfamiliar situations?

  • Do you have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a commitment to lifelong learning?


Why study Tax?


Tax advisers are like superheroes, helping businesses and individuals navigate the complex world of taxes. They're not just number-crunchers, they're also strategists who can help their clients with tax planning. And let's not forget about the legal compliance requirements - tax practitioners also assist clients with filing SARS tax returns and other compliance-related tasks. Some tax professionals act as advisers, guiding individuals who are starting out in business, while others focus on advising companies on mergers and acquisitions or international expansion. And then there are tax advisors, who specialise and assist clients in tax and estate planning, controversy and dispute resolution. Employment tax specialists advise companies and navigate the complexities of brining critical skills to the South Africa or seconding employees to work overseas. Meanwhile, VAT specialists help larger businesses manage the major cash flow issues that arise from navigating the VAT system both in South Africa and internationally. Tax law is constantly changing, so it's crucial for tax professionals and practitioners to stay up to date with the latest developments to provide the best advice possible to taxpayers.


What is the journey in South Africa to qualify as a tax professional or tax practitioner?


To kickstart your journey, you'll need to complete a tax specific qualification and at the same time complete work experience in Tax. This is preferably obtained via a learnership through an approved training office, which could be a professional services firm in accountancy or tax law.


Once you're qualified, your tax career can go in any direction you choose. You can opt for a specialization in a specific area of taxation, like Corporate Tax, VAT, Employment Tax, Controversy and dispute resolution, etc. Or you can apply for work within the South African Revenue Services. Or maybe you're more interested in helping individuals with their personal taxes? Either way, you can work for yourself, within a professional services firm, in a business, SARS, or even work internationally. The best part? Tax is a flexible profession! You'll always be on top of the latest legislation changes and always looking for new and creative ways to apply them. You'll be a master problem-solver, able to help businesses and individuals achieve their goals while navigating the complex world of tax requirements in South Africa, and possibly beyond. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to dive into the exciting world of tax.


Click here to read about the Tax Professional and Tax Technician qualifications offered by The Tax Faculty.


Are you currently working in tax, but keen on upskilling to advance your tax career and remain relevant in the twenty-first century?


By upskilling, you can gain new knowledge and expertise, as well as learn the latest industry practices, techniques, and specialties. It can also help you stand out in a competitive job market and increase your earning potential. But where do you start? Well, the good news is that there are plenty of upskilling opportunities available. You could take an online course or attend a CPD webinar to enhance your technical skills or brush up on new tax laws, court judgments, and SARS interpretation notes, rulings, etc. You could also explore our specialised tax courses, such as Transfer Pricing, International Tax, Administration of Deceased Estates, or Trust Administration.


But don't stop there. You should also focus on developing your soft skills, like communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. These skills are crucial for success in the twenty-first century, but especially in tax where you'll be working with clients to help them navigate the complex world of taxes. So, if you're serious about advancing your tax career, then upskilling is the way to go. It's never too late to learn and grow, so take the first step today and start exploring your options with The Tax Faculty.


Click here to read about the various upskilling tax courses available online, anytime and anywhere.


What are the future skills required of the tax professional / tax practitioner?


Gone are the days of simply crunching numbers and completing SARS forms. The future ready tax professional and tax practitioner needs to be able to connect the dots, see patterns in the data, and turn that information into a strategic advantage for the business.


Tax professionals and practitioners need to be able to identify risks and opportunities and communicate them effectively to stakeholders. Moreover, with the increasing digitization of the twenty-first century, the future-ready tax professional need to have a good understanding of technology. They need to be able to leverage automation and artificial intelligence to streamline processes and improve accuracy. Being able to communicate with IT specialists and data scientists will be crucial to success. In addition to being a tax expert, the future-ready tax professional and practitioner will need to be a diplomat. They will need to have excellent communication and negotiation skills, and be able to build relationships with stakeholders, including the South African Revenue Service. Being able to navigate different cultures and legal frameworks will also be important in a globalised tax environment. In short, the tax professional of tomorrow will be a hybrid of skills, blending commercial awareness, analytical thinking, technology savvy, diplomatic skills, and a strategic mindset. For those already working in tax, upskilling in these areas will be essential to advance their career and stay ahead of the game.


Where do tax professionals and practitioners work?


Tax professionals and practitioners work in various sectors, in employment or practice, such as:


  • Tax specialist consulting firms

  • Accounting firms

  • South African Revenue Services

  • National Treasury

  • Corporates with in-house tax departments such as ABSA, Discovery, Anglo American,

  • Academia


What is the earning potential as a tax professional and tax practitioner?


The earning potential for a tax professional in South Africa can vary depending on factors such as experience, qualifications, and the type of company and sector you work for. On average, an entry-level tax professional can expect to earn around R300 000 per year, while senior tax professionals can earn up to R3 000 000 or more per year. It's important to note that salaries can also be influenced by location and the size of the company.


How long does it take to qualify as a Tax Technician?


The duration of tax technician qualification ranges from 18 to 30 months, during which you complete a practical workplace component to be eligible to apply for the EISA board exam (after which you can register for professional body membership).


How long does it take to qualify as a Tax Advisor?

The duration of tax professional qualification ranges from 18 to 30 months, during which you complete a practical workplace component to be eligible to apply for the SAIT EISA board exam (after which you can register for professional designation and as a SARS tax practitioner).

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