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Our Taxation Manager Carol Johnson blogs on what’s surprised her most about working at the ABI…

After spending the past few years with the ABI, Carol Johnson in our Taxation team will be moving on to pastures new. We caught up with her to reflect on her time at the ABI, what she’s enjoyed most and what surprised her about working here.

Tell us about your role at the ABI – what do you do and why?

As a Manager in the tax team I work on a wide range of policy and operational tax or tax related issues. In addition to corporation tax, PAYE, pension tax, taxation of life insurance products, automatic exchange of information etc. I have also worked in less obvious areas including working with financial crime experts to write guidance on preventing the facilitation of tax evasion.

The role is hugely varied from drawing together member input to formally respond to a government consultation to informally engaging with HMRC officials on operational issues for the industry.

What’s been your highlight and what’s been your most challenging moment?

It’s often the challenges that you overcome that become the highlight. Proposed tax legislation can have significant unintended consequences for some insurers, working with members, advisers and HMRC and HMT to deliver legislation that avoids that impact is a fast-moving roller coaster at the time but it feels great to have been part of it. On a day to day basis there is the challenge of helping advocacy and press colleagues to communicate complex tax ideas simply. A very positive response to my talk on the intricacies of the taxation of life insurance companies was a definite highlight.

Where did you work before, how and why did you come to join the ABI?

After 26 years in HMRC, a significant part of which was working on the taxation of insurance companies, I wanted to see what life was like outside HMRC. The ABI was a good fit with my existing skills and knowledge and had the bonus of being able to work 4 days a week.

What’s the best thing about working here?

The members have so much knowledge and so much experience which they are very willing to share. After being in a very large organisation I really appreciate the lack of bureaucracy and the flexibility to shape my role to meet the needs of members.

What surprised you most about working here?

How young everyone was! But seriously, I love the energy you get working with younger people, some of whom are just beginning to forge their careers,

Describe your team in three words.

Incredibly knowledgeable, professional and not too geeky.

What does #OneABI mean to you?

Using all our talents to get a great result for our members, working hard together but not at the expense of being able to have fun together.

If you weren’t working at the ABI, what would be your second career?

Not a second career but my retirement fantasy is owning a village post office-cum-sweetshop. Tax was actually my second career (I started off in technical publishing). if I was not at the ABI, I would still be in tax somewhere.

What will you take from you time at the ABI to your new role?

A much deeper understanding of the insurance business and the products it sells. And an appreciation of the very many areas of ABI work which are about  improving  the lives of Insurance customers and employees .

If you’re interested in joining the ABI, take a look at our  jobs page to apply or contact careers@abi.org.uk.


Last updated 31/01/2019