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The New Breed Of Tax Practitioner

Tuesday, 01 September 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: TaxTalk
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The New Breed Of Tax Practitioner

If you are reading this article in your pajamas or comfortable sweatpants and a T-shirt you are most probably one of the new breed of tax practitioners opting to work from home, rather than in a formal office environment.And you are not alone.Almost a third of tax and accounting professionals who participated in a survey conducted by the CPA (Certified Professional Accountants) website in the United States indicated that they spend more than 35 hours per week working fr om home.

This growing trend was first predicted in the 1990s by trend forecaster and marketing consultant Faith Popcorn when she coined the term "cocooning”.Popcorn identified cocooning as a commercially significant trend that would lead, among other things, to professionals working from home and stay-at home electronic shopping.Since Popcorn coined the term, the trend has continued.With the creation of the World Wide Web (WWW), home entertainment technology, advances in communication technology (cellphones, PDAs, and Blackberries), which allow work-at-home options and resulted in demographic changes, cocooning has become an increasingly attractive option.

Proponents of this new movement say that working from home gives you the maximum freedom and flexibility to choose your own schedule and remain balanced, but warn that you must remember that the buck stops with you.There are also several economic reasons why the new breed of tax practitioners would give up leased office space for rent-free home offices.The question posed is: why pay the exorbitant costs of commercial office space, poor parking, noisy buildings, poor security and the needless pollution and frustrations of commuting if you can do it all from home?

Any tips from home-based tax practitioners, both locally and abroad? Here are a few:

-You need to be a self-starter and be able to shut out the household when you work.

-Have a good home office set-up, structure your time and separate work from home life.

-You can’t be distracted by letting personal items take up your business day - know that you must be able to compartmentalise work and home life. 

-A dedicated room that you leave at the end of the workday is key.

-Keep in mind that when you are not working, you are not earning any money. 

-Make sure that you have at least six months of personal expenses in the bank to cover you during start-up.  

-Ensure that you have the technology to support you.For example, a cordless phone is extremely useful when you need to lock yourself away in the bathroom if the baby starts yelling or the dog starts barking while you are talking to an important client.

-Keep a lock on the fridge door.There is nothing easier than popping a little snack while thinking through a difficult problem – with dire consequences to the midriff.

-See to it that you have excellent and trustworthy childminding facilities.You cannot do both.

-Factor in time to visit your clients at their offices.This will save you from having a boardroom geared towards meetings in your home, and will also keep clients from hanging around in a friendly and homely environment if you want to get on with your work.

Source: By TaxTALK



Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

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