We would like to introduce you to Gaurav Chitnis who recently joined HLB Mann Judd Perth as a tax consulting partner. He has over 17 years’ experience in the profession. Gaurav is a highly regarded CPA, CTA, and lawyer admitted to the Supreme Court, and an expert in many complex tax areas. We asked Gaurav to share his career journey with us.

What inspired you to pursue a career in taxation?

I have always had an analytical mindset and was naturally drawn towards a field that involved problem-solving. After considering several different career pathways, I decided to pursue a degree in accounting and finance. As I progressed through my studies, I realised that my true passion was solving complex legal issues and a career in taxation became inevitable.

What continues to motivate me is being able to understand and solve complex tax issues and explain these issues to clients in ways that are easy to understand.

How do you stay updated with the constantly changing tax laws and regulations?

As a tax professional, a commitment to life-long learning is necessary. I stay abreast of new tax issues by reading daily tax updates and articles, undertaking structured training, and getting involved in discussion groups with other tax practitioners. At this stage in my career, I have the privilege to train other staff and present at external forums which, in turn, is incredibly useful for my own learning.

With your unique background as both an accountant and lawyer, how do you approach complex tax issues differently than others might?

I strongly believe that a tax adviser needs the skills of both an accountant and a lawyer. The analytical skillset and financial acumen of an accountant comes in handy in taxation, however understanding the law is imperative. This is something I realised early on in my career, hence why I decided to study law post my accounting training to become a dual-qualified accountant and lawyer. The benefit of this is that I am able to research complex tax law in order to provide practical and financially sound advice to clients.

What’s on the horizon for the future of tax consulting?

We are all carefully reviewing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the possibilities it will bring to the profession. Access to more timely information and updated processes for researching tax law will likely complement the advisory and consulting role we have with our clients. I am confident AI will never be able to replicate human creativity and emotional intelligence.

Another area that has been particularly challenging, and may continue to do so, is the taxation of digital assets such as cryptocurrency. We currently have no specific tax legislation governing this area. We anticipate more changes to come through which will require further skills and knowledge development.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?

A career in tax can be quite intense and deadline-driven at times, so it is important to take care of your mental and physical health. Being a morning person, I like to set aside some time for myself before the day starts to go to the gym and practice some form of meditation and yoga.

When I have time off from work, I enjoy going on overseas holidays with my wife and son. My most recent trip was to Japan, and I absolutely loved it.