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In medieval times, Danegeld was a tax raised in England and paid to Vikings in order to dissuade them from invading. It didn’t really have the desired effect, but the Danes certainly became very rich in the process. St Peter the Great of Russia also had form in this area, imposing taxes on beards and souls among other things. Just a couple of facts that might help you overcome the misconceived notion that taxation is an area lacking in colour. Nowadays tax professionals, in their role of providing crucial financial direction to Irish and multinational companies, were at the forefront of Ireland’s boom economy, and they will be necessary to its recovery. Also, in the civil service sector, the tax authorities have played a key role in the battle against organised crime and fraud.



AITI Chartered Tax Advisers (CTA) have studied business, accounting, finance or law courses, but many graduates from both the arts and sciences have also entered the profession. The Limerick Institute of Technology provides an Honours Degree programme in Law & Taxation (360 points in 2007) where students are taught modules such as Financial Accounting, Public Sector Economics, Constitutional Law, and various tax modules (Income, Corporation, Advanced Planning and International).

The University of Limerick is in close partnership with the Revenue Commissioners and its dedicated National Centre for Taxation Studies teaches a core component in a wide range of programmes, such as the Bachelor of Business Studies and the BA (Honours) in Law and Accounting. Non-graduates with a good standard of education can apply to the Revenue Commissioners at the clerical level. A third level graduate is generally qualified in order to become an executive officer, while candidates for the higher position of Administrative Officer in the Revenue Commissioners require a first or second-class honours degree (Level 8).


Options after Qualification

Graduates are employed in private sector taxation roles by accountancy firms, financial institutions, major legal firms and multinational corporations. These businesses will usually offer sponsorship as you pursue a professional taxation qualification with the AITI (Associateship of the Irish Tax Institute). Competitions for taxation roles in the civil service are organised by the Public Appointments Service, and occasionally by the Revenue Commissioners themselves.

Training and promotion is readily available in all areas of the civil service, and Revenue Commissioners staff can apply for promotion to roles such as customs and excise enforcement, and inspector of taxes. The University of Limerick operates a Diploma and BA (Hons) in Applied Taxation, which have been designed specifically for employees of the Revenue Commissioners. Ongoing training is an important aspect of all taxation roles as it is a sector that is continually shifting due to financial and legal factors.


The Work

Chartered Tax Advisers help their clients make the best business decisions in light of the latest fiscal changes and development. They monitor and anticipate changes to tax legislation and respond quickly with advice specific to the client’s particular commercial requirements. Other tasks include handling revenue enquiries; developing, selling, and implementing tax planning ideas; managing the tax compliance process for clients; structuring mergers and acquisitions; researching and utilising tax benefits in Ireland and overseas; and assisting clients with tax reporting.

The work of a Chartered Tax Adviser is highly variable as it depends a lot on whichever industry the client operates in and is also affected by changes to tax legislation. It is necessary to develop an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the particular issues facing the client and his/her business.  Chartered Tax Advisers therefore never stop learning and developing their knowledge. Public sector roles include customs and excise enforcement officers, who work in Ireland’s ports and airports and visit businesses to ensure that their VAT records are up to date and in order. The inspector of taxes may be assigned a wide range of tasks, including the determination of tax liabilities, assisting in the development of services to taxpayers (individuals and businesses), and investigating suspected tax evaders. Go to the Government section of the Careers Library for more information on the roles of clerical, executive and administrative officers.


Personal Qualities & Work Environment

It will not shock you that a good grasp of numbers and maths is necessary if you wish to work in tax. The need for higher levels of numerate and verbal analytical ability grows as you move up the salary scale. If you are someone who enjoys researching and analysing problems  (tip: try playing several games of Sudoku without flying into a rage to see if this describes your personality), then taxation could be the career for you. Working in the public sector requires an enthusiasm to serve the community with fairness and equality. A good deal of dogged detective work is necessary in dealing with tax evasion. People who work in taxation, in the public or private sphere,  often work as part of a team with members from different backgrounds, so a gift for communication and working in tandem with others is also valuable.


The Money

Newly qualified Chartered Tax Advisers earn up to €45, 000 per year, while the average salary of a senior tax manager ranges from €80, 000 to €95, 000. A qualified and experienced inspector of taxes earns between €23, 000 and €44, 000 a year.


The Jargon

Audit: To examine an organisation or individual’s accounts

CAB (Criminal Assets Bureau): A taskforce made up of Garda and Revenue officers that pursues the illegally gained assets of criminals

Tax Avoidance: The legal means of lowering one’s tax bill, as opposed to the illegal practice of ‘tax evasion’


Job Titles

Chartered Tax Adviser

Tax Manager

VAT Manager

Customs Officer

Inspector of Taxes


Further Resources


Irish Tax Institute

South Block,

Longboat Quay

Grand Canal Harbour

Dublin 2

Phone: 01 663 1700

01 663 1700

Email: students@taxireland. ie

Web: www. taxinstitute. ie


Public Appointments Service

Chapter House

26/30 Abbey Street Upper

Dublin 1

Phone: 1890 449999


Web: www. publicjobs. ie


National Centre for Taxation Studies

University of Limerick


Phone: 061 234 320

061 234 320


Web: www. ul. ie/taxstudies


The Irish Revenue Commissioners



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