Hi my name is Ruth-Ellen O’Donovan BCL, ACA and AITI Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). I am a Senior Tax Manager with Deloitte Toronto.
Tell us about your college degree and how you got into a career in tax
I studied Law in UCD. During my final year in university, I realised that I didn’t want to pursue a traditional legal career albeit that I really enjoyed studying law. I therefore chose to apply to the accounting firms through their graduate recruitment programmes to work in their tax department. This would give me the opportunity to work within the tax law field and to utilise the research and analytical skills which I had developed during my legal studies.
Following the graduate recruitment process, I chose to join Deloitte in Dublin and I became a graduate trainee in the Private Client Tax Department of Deloitte Dublin in October 2004.
So tell us about moving from college to the work place?
During my training years with Deloitte, I studied to become a chartered accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). It was certainly a challenge to balance a demanding work schedule with professional learning and exams. The lecturers and material provided by the Irish Tax Institute were of great benefit in helping me to learn the various aspects of tax law. I quickly learnt that continuous study of the material provided was important and to simultaneously use the opportunities in my workplace to utilise the technical knowledge that I was acquiring. This all enabled me to see tax law in operation in a real life setting.
Following the completion of my professional qualifications, I progressed to manager and senior manager in Deloitte Dublin, within a number of years. I continued to work in the Private Client area of the tax department, focusing mainly on gift and inheritance tax planning, international trust and family business tax matters.
You are now working in Deloitte Toronto, tell us how that came about
Following nine years in the Dublin office, an opportunity arose within the Global Deloitte Firm to go on secondment to Deloitte Toronto for a number of years. I am now a Senior Tax Manager in the Private Client group in downtown Toronto.
Whilst obviously, I have had to learn a whole new set of tax rules in Canada, the skills I learnt during the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) course have come to the fore again. In particular, researching, analysing and interpreting both domestic and international legislation and case law to determine the most tax efficient solutions for our clients. There have been huge challenges, both professionally and personally, in moving half way across the world but becoming a member of the tax team in Deloitte Toronto has been very exciting. The client and market base in Canada is much larger than Ireland and I am fortunate to have the exposure to a wide variety of clients, in all aspects of the Canadian market.