Advantages of going straight into work from schoolby
To mark International Youth Day, Reshma Johar reflects on how she entered the world of tax and what the tax implications are for young people starting employment.
This week saw the obligatory photos of teenagers jumping in the air and clutching their A Level and GCSE results. After a year of studying under exceptional circumstances, students can now move forward with their plans – but for some, university is not the only option if they want to enter the world of accountancy and tax.
As a school leaver, I landed my first job working in the tax department at a top 50 firm of accountants. I was employed as a junior on a full-time basis. At the time, working in tax was not my childhood dream but as other tax professionals would say, tax is something that many of us have fallen into…
Fortunately for me, I really (really!) enjoy what I do and continue to work in tax. In my spare time, I provide lectures to other tax professionals as well as university students. I write tax focused articles and am also involved as a volunteer with the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
My skills have developed over the years largely from on-the-job training as well as regular CPD training. Over the course of the years of working in tax I also became both a Chartered Tax Adviser and member of the Association of Taxation Technicians.
Understanding my payslip
My first personal exposure into tax was when I reviewed my first payslip. Once I got over the shock of how much tax was taken from my income, my objective became to understand what the right amount of tax taken should be (certainly not more and not less). Thankfully my training meant that I was able to understand the PAYE tax code and challenge this with HMRC whenever it looked wrong. These days, HMRC has a useful guide on Tax Codes.
International Youth Day
Today is International Youth Day, a day designated by the United Nations as an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.
It’s a good time, therefore, to reflect on the advantages in going straight into the world of employment from school. For me, there were many upsides in side-stepping university:
- Hands on work experience
- Learn life/work skills earlier
- No student loan debt
- Start to earn money and be able to save earlier than those who were either travelling or continuing further education
- Gain professional qualifications related to the role
And now there are many routes available for those looking for a career in tax and also employers looking to support school leavers in pursuing this route.
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Reshma Johar is a Tax Consultant at Carter Backer Winter. She is both ATT and CTA qualified with experience gained from practice and her involvement with the CIOT. She has a particular interest in OMB and private client taxes.