A member’s view: Claire Galineau
This month’s member spotlight is on Claire Galineau CTA, Tax Policy Associate Director at Deloitte and member of ADIT.
How did you find out about a career in tax?
After a Bachelor of Business Law at the University of Nancy, France, I completed a Master of Laws with Queen Mary University of London, focusing on European and International taxation. So I guess you could say I had an early interest in the topic. I started working in Luxembourg a few months after the LuxLeaks came out and shortly before the State Aid investigations were opened by the European Commission. In hindsight, that was a lucky time to start a career in tax as it allowed me to work with very senior people, putting my skills in competition and tax law into good use straight away.
Why is the CIOT qualification important?
When I moved back to the UK after two years working in Luxembourg, I wanted to demonstrate that I could provide advice on UK tax matters, as well as international tax issues. I did this by becoming a Chartered Tax Adviser and also finishing the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT), which I had started during my Master’s with the CIOT. I fondly remember Bill Dodwell, then President of the CIOT, delivering both certificates at the same admission ceremony back in 2017.
Why did you pursue a career in tax?
I like the challenging environment: no two days are ever the same in tax! In the last couple of years, I’ve pivoted to tax policy with a sustainability and climate angle. This is my ikigai: I’ve always been passionate about climate, so I find working on solutions to use the tax system more efficiently to help achieve net zero goals really rewarding. Last June, I joined the CIOT Climate Change Working Group, which considers the implications of climate change for UK tax policy.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Curious, collaborative and unrelentingly challenging the status quo.
Who has influenced you in your career so far?
For me, having a coach, a mentor and a sponsor (or several!) very early on in my career helped me to seek new opportunities. Now, I’m at a stage where I can nurture new talents, pass on the baton if you will, and I’m really enjoying doing this.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing the CIOT qualification?
It will be hard, but you can do hard things! I think people underestimate the time and dedication needed but it’s also only a phase in your career: it’s worth pushing yourself.
What are your predictions for tax advisers and the tax industry in the future?
Sustainability will become increasingly important for businesses, individuals and the economy at large. It might feel overwhelming at first but you can upskill yourself relatively fast.
What advice would you give to your future self?
You’re exactly where you need to be.
Tell me something about yourself that others may not know about you.
I love pop culture and always try to insert references in blogs and articles. That’s anything from Troye Sivan and Heartstopper to movies starring Timothée Chalamet. If I weren’t a tax adviser, I would love to work in the music or cinema industry.