A member’s view: Banin Oozeerally
Why did you pursue a career in tax?
Although I did well in numerate subjects, I also enjoyed writing at school. This encouraged me to look into career options that would enable me to use both skills.
My interest in tax grew when I started working alongside a tax practitioner about 12 years ago. I found our conversations about tax engaging and was keen to improve my knowledge. He guided me on how to interpret rules and use the legislation. It gave me insight into the fast-paced learning environment that I thrive in.
What are the highlights of your career so far?
My appointment as a Council member of ATT in 2021. The support which I received as an ATT student and member has been invaluable in my professional development. It is an honour to give back to the Association through my work as a Council member and being a volunteer on some of the Steering groups. It is also a wish come true, as this is a role I have been attracted to since my student days.
Why is the ATT qualification important?
The ATT qualification offers a broad coverage in terms of the various types of taxes, professional ethics and understanding of the business legal framework. It is a strong qualification on its own that gives you recognition as a tax professional and opens doors for several career options.
What advice would you give to people starting off in their career?
Surround yourself with people that nourish you. You should build on your skills by absorbing as much as possible from colleagues and client work. This will also allow you to explore which area you would like to develop your career in. Everyone’s definition of success can be different and sometimes things may not work out as planned. However, your efforts and patience will ensure that you will always land somewhere better.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Determined, empathetic and curious.
As a tax professional, who influenced you?
I would like to give credit to all my mentors. They have all influenced me positively with their knowledge, work ethics and passion. They showed me that it was important to focus on both the big picture and small details. I learned that consistency was crucial in achieving long‑term success.
What are your predictions for the tax industry in the future?
Compliance obligations are constantly evolving and these often come with global implications. However, skills in non-tax areas such as technology and data analytics will be as important as having technical tax skills. The use of technology is not new but it has now taken a bigger dominance in our business lives. As it delivers more in terms of automation of processes and real-time sharing of information both within the UK and across tax jurisdictions, we will have to maintain the edge by adding value to the services we offer. It will be challenging but exciting on a professional level.
What advice would you give your future self?
Stop worrying about tomorrow and focus on today. Winnie The Pooh is one of my best-loved characters and A.A. Milne hit the nail on head when he penned, ‘Today is my favourite day.’ I draw inspiration from those words.
What may others be surprised to know about you?
My family and friends are often surprised that I know London and its suburbs so well considering I did not grow up here. They say that the best way to explore a city is by foot and it has definitely been true for me.