Subject

Taxation and Accounting

Qualifications

Bachelor of Commerce 
Bachelor of Commerce with Honours
Master of Commerce 
Doctor of Philosophy

Overview

Taxation is much more than interpreting and applying legislation. Societies need taxation in order to redistribute wealth, to provide for expenditure on public goods and services, as well as serve as a tool to influence behaviour.

Specifically, taxation is a core area within the broader fields of accounting and law, drawing together concepts from these disciplines, along with concepts from economics. More recently knowledge and theories in a number of other disciplines, such as psychology and sociology, have been applied to assist with a greater understanding of the impact of taxation on society.

The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) and Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Australia recognise the importance of studies in taxation, with courses containing taxation content included in their ‘core’ and ‘accounting and/or business related’ academic requirements. Studying taxation will equip you with the skills and knowledge to become a taxation specialist within the accounting profession, a commercial professional or a chartered accountant.

Not only will a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Taxation and Accounting serve as a pathway to membership of NZICA and CPA Australia, but also potentially to other professional accounting bodies internationally.

Recommended preparation

While some previous study of accounting is useful preparation, it is not essential to have studied accounting at secondary school.

Competence in spoken and written English communication is essential for both taxation and accountancy studies. Taxation and accounting are not only number-oriented but, with the growing importance and use in accountancy of mathematical methods and statistical tools, a background in mathematics and statistics is strongly recommended.

Students with very good Year 13 results in accounting may be offered direct entry to 200-level Accounting courses at the discretion of the Head of Department.

Courses

The first-year, 100-level courses required in order to complete a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Taxation and Accounting are:

If you are planning to major in Taxation and Accounting you should take ACCT102 and ACCT103 in your first year. ACCT152 or LAWS101 should be taken preferably in your first year of study but may be taken in your second year of study.

For NZICA and/or CPA Australia membership, both ECON104 and ECON105 are required, as are ACCT152 (or LAWS101), INFO123 and ACCT103 at 100-level. For the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) requirements, refer to www.accaglobal.com.

For the complete, three-year Bachelor of Commerce Taxation and Accounting major degree plan see the School of Business and Economics website.

Later courses provide a more detailed treatment of the topics introduced at 100-level. At the conclusion of ACCT254 Introduction to Taxation you will have a working knowledge of income tax (income and deductions), the Goods and Services Tax and Fringe Benefit Tax.

You will also understand the concepts of residence and source, and aspects of tax administration. Tax courses at 300-level build on the foundations laid in earlier study, considering a range of topics including tax planning, avoidance and evasion, international taxation, taxation of e-commerce, taxation of investments, company taxation, ethics, tax policy, taxation of charities, and further aspects of tax administration and compliance.

Career opportunities

As a specialist in Taxation and Accounting you will be able to enter a variety of organisations. For example, as a taxation specialist or accountant in chartered accounting firms, accountancy practices, government organisations (including Inland Revenue and the Treasury), business and commercial enterprises, non-profit organisations, banking and financial services, management consultancies, education organisations, law firms and obtain interesting, well-paid work around the world.

Many Taxation and Accounting students aspire to become chartered accountants through the NZICA or CPA Australia. For both memberships your Bachelor of Commerce degree must include specific courses. 

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Taxation and Accounting.

More information

Department of Accounting and Information Systems
College of Business and Law
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 364 2613
Email acis@canterbury.ac.nz