Griffith Business School launches tax specialisation

Griffith Business School will produce specialists in the taxation sector in an innovative degree structure designed to create commerce graduates with an unmatched edge in tax that will better meet the changing needs of an industry.

A new taxation minor will be available to students from 2017 as part of an updated commerce degree structure.

The plan was unveiled at a Careers and Industry event where Griffith graduates working with leading firms described the ongoing relevance of tax in their jobs and careers.

“This offering will create well-rounded commerce graduates with an unmatched edge in tax,” Associate Professor Brett Freudenberg, who teaches income tax law and taxation planning, said.

“Managers and leaders in the industry are constantly keeping an eye out for these skills and qualities on CVs when recruiting, and this new tax minor will be valuable in this regard.

“Griffith University will be one of few Australian universities to offer such a structured suite of courses that delivers to the industry in this way.”

Research expertise in tax law

Business students who complete the tax minor will meet part of the educational requirements to be registered as a tax agent by the Tax Practitioners Board.

This minor also complements Griffith’s Financial Planning degrees and meets the educational requirements for a tax (financial) adviser.

“This development reinforces Griffith’s academic research expertise in tax law,” Associate Professor Freudenberg said. “Griffith has leading tax academics undertaking tax policy research into such areas as tax literacy, tax and road emissions, the effect of CGT concessions on taxpayer behaviour, and tax issues facing Australian private enterprises.”

Among the Griffith alumni who shared their career success with students at the industry event were Phillip Dalton (senior tax manager at Deloitte); Heather Greatrex (senior manager at Ernst and Young); Mia Xu (tax analyst at the Bank of Queensland); Stephen Munic (in operational policy, assurance and law at the Australian Tax Office); Sam Gray (accountant at Cooper Reeves); Imran Tahir (partner at FSA Partners); and John O’Brien (founder of VISIS Private Wealth).

New structure for degrees

Associate Professor Freudenberg said a cycle of innovation and reflection has led to the launch of a new structure for commerce and business degrees from 2017. “One of the true innovations is the change to the commerce degree which sees the introduction of a new tax minor that complements the existing majors of accounting, financial planning and economics.”

Some of the new features of the commerce degree include:

  • Trimesters – enabling students to utilise more of the academic year, and not just commencing their degree in February.
  • Incorporating six core courses for all students, including a ‘work skills’ course to ensure students have insight into the key skills required to be successful in professional life.

For more information about the tax minor, contact Associate Professor Brett Freudenberg: b.freudenberg@griffith.edu.au