A member’s view: Jane Deeks
VAT Specialist, Deeks VAT Consultancy
This month’s member spotlight is on Jane Deeks, VAT Specialist at Deeks VAT Consultancy and member of CIOT
How did you find out about a career in tax?
I was interested in tax and PwC conducted a presentation about tax careers when I was studying my law degree at university.
Why is the CIOT qualification important?
The CIOT qualification was important to me because it is the highest tax qualification in the UK, it is highly regarded and very prestigious to qualify as a Chartered Tax Adviser. It is a difficult qualification to pass, so it was my ultimate academic challenge. Not only was I able to learn and understand my specialist area of VAT, but it also allowed me to have an overview of other taxes and how they interact with VAT.
I believe that being a Chartered Tax Adviser has helped me in my career to gain clients and employers’ confidence.
Why did you pursue a career in tax?
I studied law with the intention of becoming a solicitor, which is very similar to the work I do as a Chartered Tax Adviser. I started as a VAT advisor on a graduate traineeship at PwC in 1999, as the salary was more competitive than that for trainee solicitors. Also, I knew working for PwC would result in a fantastic career opportunity.
I found VAT very interesting due to its complexity. I’m not a numbers person and advising on VAT is about interpreting the law and explaining it in simple terms to clients, which is something I enjoy. The work is challenging, and no two days are the same. To advise on VAT, you need to understand the client’s business, which I find very interesting, and I enjoy getting to know clients.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Friendly, confident and dedicated.
Who has influenced you in your career so far?
Firstly, my lovely dad, who taught me that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. I have worked with a number of intelligent VAT colleagues over the past 24 years, who have influenced me and are still influencing me. The most recent inspirational person in my career has been Tim Fife, another self-employed VAT consultant. Tim helped me significantly when I decided to set up Deeks VAT Consultancy Limited. I am very grateful for the advice and support that he gave me.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing the CIOT qualification?
Go for it but be prepared for a lot of hard work and a very reduced social life for a while. However, it is worth the sacrifice as not only is it a prestigious qualification to have, but it will also assist you with your client work as the exams are practical.
What are your predictions for tax advisers and the tax industry?
As most people do, I predict that the increase in artificial intelligence will result in some compliance work becoming more digital, but there will always be a need for your good old tax advisor. Many business transactions are changing due to the digital age and VAT laws will need to change with the digitally developing world.
Tell me something about yourself that others may not know about you.
I was born and bred into the fairground business, and from the age of five to 12, I only attended school when the fair closed for three months during the winter. I had an alternative education on the funfair where my parents taught me how to run the family business, weld, and repair engines and cars, and amusement machines in the family’s travelling amusement arcade.
I always wanted to be self-employed and I am proud to have achieved this goal. I will be celebrating Deeks VAT Consultancy Limited’s fifth anniversary in October.